IFB launches anti-fraud campaign as Insurance Fraud Register additions increase

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The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is warning of a rise in people being added to the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) as new findings indicate a link between fraud and the cost-of-living crisis.

The IFR, which is managed by IFB, is a national database of insurance fraudsters and anyone on it can be denied essential insurance services for five years.

In the past 12 months, 5,058 people were added to the IFR. This is up 17% from 4,319 individuals added in the previous year.

The rise in IFR additions comes as new YouGov research, which was commissioned by IFB, revealed that one in five young adults would consider turning to fraud if they were struggling financially.

With the cost-of-living crisis placing millions of people in financial turmoil, IFB has launched its Don’t Chance Fraud campaign to highlight why engaging in fraud and being added to the IFR has devastating consequences for all.

Ben Fletcher, director at IFB, said: “As millions struggle because of the cost-of-living crisis, the sad reality is more people could be tempted to chance insurance fraud and face the serious consequences of having a record on the Insurance Fraud Register.”

“There are no winners when it comes to fraud. If someone intentionally lies on an insurance application or claim, they’ll be put on the Insurance Fraud Register which can deny them access to essential insurance services for years to come. They could face criminal prosecution. Plus, the added costs from fraud unfairly make insurance more expensive for everyone else.”

He continued: “I know it’s easier said than done, but if anyone is struggling to make ends meet then they must seek financial support and look at how they can best manage their finances. The insurance industry really wants to help its customers at this challenging time, so please reach out to the insurer if struggling with payments. Whatever the next steps may be, don’t let fraud be one of them… it only makes things worse.”

Commenting on the rise in people being added to the IFR, James Burge, head of counter fraud at Allianz Commercial, said: “We’ve been detecting more insurance fraud, which always rises in times of financial hardship. These fresh insights from the Insurance Fraud Bureau are therefore more important than ever. We need to buck this trend and its associated cost, which honest customers should not have to bear in the current economic climate.”

Burge continued: As a fleet insurer, we’re particularly attentive to staged collisions that target last-mile delivery vehicles. Also, the motor repair industry has reported attempts at passing off counterfeit parts for green parts, so we’re happy to have partnered with a trusted supplier that offers accurate tracking and full transparency. In the commercial property area, empty buildings being used to grow cannabis can lead to problematic claims, so property managers need to protect vacant premises adequately.”

“At Allianz, our approach will continue to be threefold: inform customers and brokers; cooperate with other insurers; detect and deter fraudsters.”

Image: Insurance Fraud Bureau
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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk