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Government’s Fraud Taskforce publishes its initial findings

18 March 2015

A government taskforce set up to tackle insurance fraud has published its interim report on its findings so far. Led by Law Commissioner David Hertzell, the Insurance Fraud Taskforce has identified four broad ‘areas of interest’ for consideration in order to further understand the causes of fraudulent behaviour and to ultimately recommend solutions to reduce the level of insurance fraud and minimise its impact on honest consumers.

The interim report published today outlines the Taskforce’s early thinking and raises a series of questions for consideration within each of the four interest areas. The areas are:

  • The encouragement of fraudulent claims
  • Drivers of policyholder behaviour (innocent mistakes versus the perception that insurance is ‘fair game' for fraud)
  • Fraud deterrents in the claims process
  • Role of fraud data.

In addition, the group has made an initial recommendation that the insurance industry updates industry guidance on the prevention of application fraud.

The Taskforce, made up of representatives from the insurance industry, regulators, consumer bodies as well as the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), will explore these areas in greater detail by engaging with diverse, interested stakeholders beyond the core of the membership. It will make its final recommendations and justifications by the end of 2015. These may be legislative, regulatory or industry-led although the overarching factor in forming any suggested approach will be the long-term impact it will have on protecting the honest consumer. Recommendations are expected to complement the Government’s existing programme of reform to control the costs of civil litigation and tackle spurious personal injury claims.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said: “The Taskforce and its work has enabled the different views of a wide and diverse group of stakeholders to be represented around the table which can only be of benefit to the honest consumer.

“The Taskforce’s initial findings complement the existing work of the IFB, including greater use by insurers of the Cheatline for their customers to report fraud, as well as the industry’s intent for the Bureau to move beyond concentrating on organised motor fraud and work to detect fraud across all product lines. Intelligence sharing is the life-blood of our counter-fraud community and forms a key pillar of the IFB’s new strategic direction and so it’s encouraging that the Taskforce is focusing on the expansion of effective data-sharing as a means to tackle insurance fraud.”