U.K.’s National Database Catches First Fraudster

May 10, 2005

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reports that the recently upgraded national database (See IJ Web site Jan. 21, 2005) has caught its first fraudster. “A policyholder claimed that his car had been stolen and recovered stripped. A check on the database revealed that he had made exactly the same claim on the same vehicle six years ago,” said the bulletin.

“The national database, launched at the beginning of the year by the ABI and run by vehicle information experts HPI, contains details of all vehicles written off following an accident or reported stolen,” it continued. “It helps identify fraudsters, for example by detecting those who insure their vehicle with several insurers at the same time and then try to claim from each following an accident, or having reported the vehicle as ‘stolen’.”

The database is already having an impact. A recent survey by Third Stage Enterprise Solutions of insurers using the system showed that:
– 61 percent of claims staff had already identified a ‘match’, that needed further information.
– nearly three – quarters felt that the database will act as a real deterrent to fraud.
– 85 percent of insurers felt the database would trap any attempt at fraud.

Justin Jacobs, Head of Motor and Risk Pricing at the ABI, commented: “Greater use of technology and data sharing is the way forward in the war on insurance fraud. The independent survey clearly shows that the database is delivering a twofold benefit: helping insurers detect more fraud, and acting as a deterrent to make anyone thinking about cheating on their insurance to think again. The survey shows us where to target further system improvements to continue to clampdown on criminal activity”.

Miles Keeble, Chair of the ABI’s MIAFTR Management Committee and Business Development Controller at Cox Insurance, indicated: “The Database is clearly doing its job well – helping insurers to deter and detect insurance fraud. In a short space of time, the system is already providing real benefits for insurers and honest policyholders.”

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