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Insurance leaders give green light for IFB evolution

11 December 2015

  •  Organised fraud detection to extend beyond motor into property and liability from 2016
  • ‘Ground-breaking’ intelligence sharing system set to be commissioned

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) will extend organised fraud detection into property and liability business lines from 2016, following sign-off on future strategy implementation plans from the Association of British Insurers’ General Insurance Council (GIC).

The green light from the GIC will also see a ‘ground-breaking’, cross-industry intelligence sharing system commissioned, which will complement proven fraud data captured by the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) to identify suspected fraud in policies and claims.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said:

“Implementation of the IFB strategy marks a major step-change in the insurance industry’s fight against fraud. We know fraudsters aren’t ‘product loyal’, and having tightened our controls in fighting organised motor fraud, it is essential that we increase attention on other product lines simultaneously, to avoid simply shifting the problem of fraud elsewhere.”

Last month, the IFB announced a significant drop in ‘crash for cash’ fraud, with the value of organised scams reducing by almost £60 million in the last three years. That reduction has been attributed to a major crackdown by the IFB in partnership with insurers, regulators and law enforcements agencies, including the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).    

Following a widespread stakeholder consultation in 2014, the IFB’s future strategy (2015 – 2019) was launched. Developed by the industry, the IFB’s ‘2020 vision’ encompassed two primary strategic objectives:

  1. To extend the IFB’s remit beyond organised motor fraud – to detect/disrupt cross-industry, systematic fraud in other product lines;
  2. To build cross-industry intelligence sharing infrastructure – required to share vital fraud intelligence in an efficient and legally compliant manner.

An industry Project Board (chaired by Allianz Fraud Manager, Mihir Pandya) has led scoping work throughout 2015 to establish the feasibility, timeframe and potential return on investment in delivering the IFB’s strategic vision.

Mihir Pandya, Fraud Manager at Allianz, said:

“The proof of concept work undertaken this year has identified significant untapped value in tackling fraud in other product lines. Liability and property insurance, in particular, appear to be fertile ground in terms of fraud networks targeting the claims process, and it’s a natural evolution of the IFB to extend its detection capabilities into these lines of business.”

The IFB is expected to start issuing intelligence reports and managing cross-industry investigations into property and liability fraud rings by Q3, 2016. In addition, preparatory work will begin in 2016 to establish an industry-wide intelligence sharing system, which will complement proven fraud data captured by the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) for screening policies and claims.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said:

“Intelligence sharing is an essential weapon in the insurance industry’s counter-fraud arsenal. By sharing data on suspect activity, we limit the propensity for suspected fraudsters to simply move around our industry. In the IFR, the industry established an effective and legally compliant platform from which to share proven fraud data. This ground-breaking next step will position the insurance industry at the forefront of counter-fraud activity.”

In 2016, the IFB will kick-start work to develop the legal framework for a cross-industry intelligence sharing model and will commission a vendor to develop the system, with a view to it launching in 2017. The intelligence sharing model will see suspect entities shared across all product lines, both opportunistic and organised scams.

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