September 7, 2014

Insurance claims fraud professionals come in two main varieties. Those who attempt to detect and/or prevent insurance claims fraud and those who attempt to perpetrate it. For neither the first nor the last time, the press was abuzz this week with heated debate over the validity of the former’s claims about the scale of the latter’s activities.

Insurers’ anti fraud people are always on about how a tidal wave of inflated or invented motor insurance claims is costing their employers – or rather the decent honest policyholders on to whom insurers are reluctantly obliged to pass the costs of out-of-control claims fraud – literally shedloads every year.

But new research commissioned by leaping personal injury solicitors Thompsons has poured scorn on claims by the Fraud Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that one in seven motor insurance claims is probably a bit dodgy.

Thompsons used a Freedom of Infotainment request to ask policemen around the country how many fraudulent motor claims they deal with each year, and received the unequivocal answer “not that many really” or, in some cases, “can’t be bothered to tell you.”

Based on this compelling new evidence Thompsons’ Tom Jones claims that insurers are making wildly inflated claims about the extent of dodgy claims being made in a wilful attempt to “undermine the law and damage the justice system.”

A spokesperson for the FBI however was quick to hit back, repudiating Thompsons’ claims about insurers’ bogus or exaggerated claims about the number of fraudulent claims being made and insisting that insurers’ suspicions of fraudulence are well founded.

In the course of a lively exchange of readers’ comments in The Low Gazette, from whom we pilfered this story, super nanny Mary Poppins insisted that insurers and the FBI “can suspect all they like”. Which seems fair.

Let’s face it: if they did any less suspecting, people would probably start accusing them of not doing their jobs. In this light, claiming that only one in seven claims looks dodgy sounds like a distinctly easy-going assessment.

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