Press releases

Helping Intermediaries Fight Fraud This Christmas.

Steve Philips Head of Fraud Services at Legal & General Insurance
Steve Philips
Head of Fraud Services at
Legal & General Insurance

30 November 2011

Steve Philips Head of Fraud Services at Legal & General Insurance
Steve Philips
Head of Fraud Services at
Legal & General Insurance
  • Tips on how to spot seasonal fraudulent claims such as 'up-raiding'
  • Opportunity to register for specialist intermediary fraud events in 2012

Christmas can put extra strain on already tight budgets so, the pressure to, 'up-raid' and use insurance cover to fraudulently claim for an upgrade to the latest 'must-have' technology or gadget, in time for Christmas Day is greater at this time of year.

New Fraudstoppers research* highlights that 46% of consumers don't believe that exaggerating the claim for an item constitutes household insurance fraud. So continuing to respond to the challenge, to cut the level of insurance fraud committed, Legal & General has developed new support material for intermediaries so they may also help prevent and reduce the level of fraudulent activity in the run-up to Christmas.

The new research also highlighted that 81% of insurance intermediaries agreed that the recession has made insurance fraud a bigger issue, yet only a third (32%) were "somewhat clear" on exactly what constitutes insurance fraud.  For example, in addition to the potential claims for 'up-raiding', other fraudulent claims received at this time of year include: claims for food that has perished in a freezer so it can be replaced with more expensive or luxury seasonal items; or claiming for damage to an old television or sofa, so a new one maybe in place to enjoy over the festive period.  

Examples, of possible fraudulent activity and how to identify suspicious fraudulent claims, are outlined in the new Fighting Fraud support material. The information is available to intermediaries from their usual Legal & General representative or online at www.legalandgeneral.com/tacklinginsurancefraud to help them identify potential seasonal fraudsters.

Insurance fraud is one of the biggest challenges for the insurance industry. Although over £16 million dishonest insurance claims are detected every week, there is still an estimated £2 billion undetected claims per year. Remarkably, many people still don't associate exaggerating insurance claims or falsifying claims, such as 'up-raiding', as fraud. Improving people's understanding that exaggerating an insurance claim is fraud is considered to be key to reducing fraud in the future.

Steve Phillips, Head of Fraud Services at Legal & General's general insurance business, said: "Our FraudStoppers report highlighted just what a big problem fraud is for the industry and gadgets such as iPads, e-readers and games consoles are all expected to be the 'must have' gadgets for this Christmas**.

Encouragingly nearly half, (43%) of intermediaries believe that working together to detect and stop people inflating or falsifying clams would help reduce the cost for us all. So although its great to see that money is starting to be saved by improvements in detecting general insurance fraud***, we want to do more. Using a combination of our sophisticated techniques to prevent and detect fraud and working with intermediaries, our aim is to prevent fraud from taking place In the first place. If we think a claim is not genuine, we will always investigate it, even at Christmas.

Steve continued; "With it being the season of goodwill, its even more important that genuine customers do not pay for the fraudulent claims. So to reduce the additional amount that's added to honest customers home insurance premium in the future, we're arranging special Fraudstoppers workshops for intermediaries in 2012. We believe that intermediaries are best placed to improve consumer understanding of what is insurance fraud, to help us all." 

To register interest in a Fraudstoppers event, intermediaries should go to www.legalandgeneral.com/tacklinginsurancefraud or contact their normal Legal & General contact or email gienquiries@landg.com. Advisers wanting general information on fraud should go to the Fraudstoppers site where there is additional information as follows:

FraudStoppers videos which feature interviews with:

  • Steve Phillips, Head of Fraud Services, Legal & General
  • Mark Lee, Business Development Manager, Wesleyan Financial Services
  • Chris Seery, Group Mortgage Manager, Honister Capital
  • Kay Leslie, Compliance Director, LSL Financial Services Division
  • Paul Rignall, Mortgage Manager, Positive Solutions

Consumer videos: Feature an independent panel of people who were recorded in conjunction with SBS Insurance Services, a leading claims fulfilment company and one of the fraud specialists used by Legal & General, demonstrating common up-raiding' fraudulent claims:

  • Damage caused when slamming a laptop lid
  • Damage caused by screen punctured by sharp object
  • Damage caused to a dropped laptop
  • Damage caused to the hinges of a laptop
  • Damage caused to a laptop by liquid
  • Damage caused by an object being thrown at a Flat Screen TV
  • Damage caused by the TV dropping to the floor
  • Damage caused by an iPhone being dropped

Notes to editors

Research methodology
* An email survey of 275 insurance intermediaries was conducted by Legal & General, between 24-30 September 2011. Consumer research conducted by One Poll of 2000 UK adults between 24-30 September, 2011.
** http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053983/Christmas-toys-2011-Top-12-gifts-revealed-stores-battle-prices.html
*** ABI press release dated 28 July 2011 states that  detection of general insurance claims saved £919 million in 2010.
For more information on SBS Insurance Services, please visit http://www.sbs-claims.co.uk/

Further information on repair and replacement: A home insurance policy is not designed to repair or replace items when they break down, but does provide cover if household items need to be repaired or replaced where there has been an event that is covered under the policy such as flood, fire or theft. Items that are not repairable are normally replaced on a 'new for old' basis. For example, in the event of loss or damage to a TV, Legal & General will replace this with an identical model or if not available, one of comparable quality.

Fraud Cheatline: The insurance industry has come together to establish a confidential number run by the Insurance Fraud Bureau. Members of the public or insurance professionals are able to report anyone they s

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