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Industry sign-up to Insurance Fraud Register ahead of target

28 March 2017

  • Membership to the IFR now sitting at over 60% of the market share
  • IFR recognised by the industry as a significant tool to protect them against insurance fraud

The Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) has recently seen its membership take a significant step forward as insurers recognise the benefits of signing up to the register.

Membership to the IFR now stands at 62% of the general insurance market following a recent substantial increase in take up, as insurers are recognising that joining the register provides them with an additional level of protection from fraudsters. Membership isn’t the only success sitting at an all-time high. More fraudsters’ records are being loaded to the database, with the total volume of records now approaching the 15,000 milestone mark. More quality records of proven fraudsters on the database means more data is shared between IFR members.

The IFR holds details of first and third party fraudsters, suppliers and professional enablers who have committed or facilitated fraud across all product lines. The Insurance Fraud Taskforce recommended that insurers should use the IFR as a fundamental tool in their fraud detection, as members have the ability to share details of known fraudsters which can be used to help insurers identify fraud at any stage in the policy lifecycle. Where that check identifies a fraudster, the insurer can take action and help limit the chances of being caught by fraud.

It is important that fraudsters feel the real world consequences of being placed on the register, finding it harder to obtain insurance and other financial services in the future. In one example, an individual who attempted to make a fraudulent claim on their home insurance had their policy voided for fraud and their details placed on the register. When subsequently trying to purchase motor insurance, the individual failed to disclose the previous voidance. This allowed the motor insurer to match the details to the IFR, take appropriate action and void the motor policy. Actions like this positively demonstrate the real consequences that fraudsters may experience, as well as the increased protection the IFR provides to insurers.

Insurers who have not yet signed up to the register face the risk of being targeted by fraudsters and organised fraud rings who could identity they are able to take out policies without being challenged. Those insurers who already have access to the service have the ability to either reject the business or price accordingly, protecting themselves as well as demonstrating a collaborative, non–competitive approach to tackling fraud. Any insurance company that wishes to formally register can do so through the IFR website.

The IFR establishes very real consequences, so it is essential that information is carefully managed. Even before a single record is loaded, IFR customers undergo a thorough on-boarding process to ensure the integrity of its data and guarantee insurers can use it with confidence.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said: “The IFR is a key component within the industry’s counter-fraud strategy which focusses on prevention, detection and enforcement. Reaching this significant milestone is a positive step demonstrating that the industry recognises the importance of the IFR. It is a perfect complement to existing industry resources and, by establishing serious consequences for proven fraudsters, should serve as a deterrent to anyone considering fraud as an easy option.”

James Dalton, Director, General Insurance Policy at ABI, added: “The IFR continues to go from strength to strength. It is increasingly enhancing insurers counter fraud capabilities and can be used in a way that best fits with an insurer’s own business model. It also meets the FCA’s regulatory expectation that insurers work collaboratively through collective action to mitigate the threat of financial crime and its impact on consumers.”

 

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