Fake claim detection rates double in Spain

Searching for the truth beneath

The level of fake claims detection in Spain has doubled in the last decade, according to insurer AXA. David Ing reports

Having analysed more than 64,400 cases last year, in its latest annual country report – the VII Mapa AXA del Fraude – AXA said it had reached 1.94 per cent of those investigated in 2019 compared with 0.85 per cent in 2010.

In the specific case of travel insurance, an AXA spokesman told ITIJ that while it is still relatively small, the insurer had ‘observed an upturn in fraud involving surety policies’: “It involves a practice carried out by some travel agencies that go into liquidation a few months after being set up, appropriating the travel reservation payments of their clients. That is why we have established some defined protocols adapted to this sector to detect them, as it could be a trend on the rise.”

Although car claims still led the way at 51 per cent, the fraud level in this  sector had dropped by 10 percentage points since 2013, while multi-risk – which includes travel – dropped by three points from the 40 per cent recorded in 2018.

AXA claims its report is the ‘most exhaustive analysis’ carried out in Spain and that it alone had avoided paying out €65.7 million in 2019, up from the €30 million detected in  2007. “Now we apply greater sophistication to the data, not only to detect more fraud but also to investigate more quickly and avoid false suspicions that affect honest clients,” said the company’s Losses Director, Arturo López-Linares. “Robotic process automation is increasing greatly the volume of investigations into suspicious cases.” Indeed, he added, digital processing now detects 20 per cent of fraud cases.

Occasional or opportunistic fraud, by boosting the scale of claims, rose from 50 per cent to 54 per cent in the past year, and while premeditated claims dropped in percentage terms they remained the ‘most dangerous’ as they included those run by ‘organized groups occasionally supported by professionals (working people)’.