The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has pledged to step up its efforts to tackle insurance fraud across the UK.
According to figures from the group, more than £124,292 fraudulent insurance claims were detected by cover providers last year. This is more than 33 per cent higher than the amount uncovered during 2007.
Meanwhile, the collective value of these frauds was found to have almost doubled during this period, passing the £1.1 billion mark in 2012 – which works out to about £21 million a week.
Home insurance frauds appear to be a particularly big problem at the moment, with these accounting for 51,000 of the cases detected during 2012. These were collectively worth £95.5 million.
Nick Starling, director of general insurance, has therefore pledged to come down hard on this issue for the sake of law-abiding policyholders.
“Honest customers rightly expect nothing less,” he commented.
“Never has it been harder to get away with insurance fraud, never have the penalties – such as getting a criminal record and being unable to get future insurance and other financial products – been tougher.”
This could partly account for the surge in the number of cases being detected and the overall value of these frauds throughout the last six years.
Mr Starling said the development of the Insurance Fraud Register, the impact of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and the efforts of fraud investigation teams at individual cover providers demonstrate the sector’s determination to both deter potential cheats and take tough action against current offenders.
He added that the industry will “come down hard on anyone who thinks making a fraudulent claim is easy money”.
This comes after Richard Davies of the ABI’s financial crime committee insisted that insurers are “more determined than ever” to bring down the number of dishonest claims. He insisted that since insurance cheats are defrauding both cover providers and honest customers, they will face “real and tangible” consequences for their actions.