Following its decision to merge its application and claims fraud teams, Allianz Insurance has reported that its fraud savings quadrupled during the first half of this year, surpassing £29.6 million. This represents an increase of £6.9 million compared with the same period in 2018, which Fraud Manager James Burge hailed as a ‘fantastic result’.
The largest improvement was registered in the property segment, with fraud savings in this area increasing by 100 per cent compared with H1 last year, although casualty claims represented the most valuable sector in terms of savings, just higher than the motor line. Of the fraudulent claims found in the casualty line, ‘slips and trips’ and manual handling fraud were the most prevalent types.
“I’m delighted that we have seen a 30-per-cent increase in claims fraud savings in the first half of the year,” said Burge. “This is a fantastic result for our business and demonstrates the commitment of our highly skilled fraud team. Our data highlights that fraud is just as prevalent as ever and is a growing problem, particularly in the casualty claims space. Prevention and detection remain our priority to ensure that genuine policyholders are protected.”
Burge went on to explain the reasoning behind combining Allianz’s claims and application fraud teams – the company registered savings of £3 million in prevented application fraud thus far in H1. “[We wanted] to ensure greater consistency of our prevention and detection capability,” he said. “A greater focus on application fraud threats, including ghost broking and ID theft, has resulted in faster detection of fraud, both opportunistic and organised.”
An ongoing issue
Allianz’s total fraud savings for 2018 stood at £64.75 million, and the company is optimistic that it can surpass that figure this year. Whether it does or not, this H1 result is certainly impressive, and while it is only for a single insurer, we feel that it can be seen as a win for the industry as a whole. After all, the fight against fraud is surely one that we can all unite behind – and the problem is not going away, with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recently reporting that over 1,300 insurance scams were detected every day in the UK in 2018.
The average attempted con was valued at £12,000, and the total value of all the attempted frauds detected throughout 2018 came to £1.2 billion. Overall, the total number of fraudulent claims and applications detected throughout the year rose by three per cent compared with 2017, with 469,000 frauds detected.
“It’s clear from these figures that insurance fraud remains a top priority for insurers,” said Burge. “It’s important that we continually focus our efforts on the changing landscape of application and claims fraud, which evolves as new protective measures are put in place. It’s also vital that the courts continue to raise the bar in terms of handing down the hardest judgments possible for insurance fraud.”