The British insurance industry witnessed more than half a million cases of insurance fraud last year. This is almost one fraud every minute, reveals a report published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The report points out that a total of 562,000 insurance frauds were detected by insurers, of which 113,000 were fraudulent claims and 449,000 dishonest insurance applications.
The total amount involved in dishonest insurance claims was valued at £1.3bn. The number was down 8% on 2016; however, their value rose slightly by 1%.
ABI general insurance policy director James Dalton said: “The vast majority of customers are honest, and they rightly resent fraudsters pushing up their insurance costs.”
“This is why the industry makes no apology for spending around £250m a year on measures to tackle insurance fraud. There will be no let-up in the crackdown on cheats.”
The report indicates that organised frauds, such as staged motor accidents, decreased by 22% on 2016. The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) is currently investigating a rise in the number of suspected frauds.
Since its formation in 2006, the IFED has secured more than 400 court convictions for fraud.
According to the report, the number of fraudulent property insurance claims has declined by 11% to 22,000 on 2016, with a value of £100m.
Meanwhile, the value of fraudulent motor insurance claims surged by 4% to £775m on 2016, with the number of scams slightly increased to 67,000.
IFB director Ben Fletcher said: “Fraudsters are tenacious and regularly change their methods, moving between products, sectors and approaches.
“They will exploit any area they are able, and the industry faces a constant battle to stay one step ahead. These numbers show the complexity of the task insurers have fighting fraud.”