UK Fraud Costs $48 Billion a Year; ABI Calls for ‘Zero Tolerance’

January 25, 2010

The UK’s National Fraud Authority’s Annual Fraud Indicator has concluded that fraud costs the UK over £30 billion [$48 billion] a year.

The finding prompted an immediate response from the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Director of General Insurance and Health Nick Starling: stated “Fraud costs every family in the UK. In these tough economic times, the last thing people need is to be paying for fraudulent activity.

“Dishonest insurance claims alone cost around £2 billion [$3.23 billion] a year, which adds on average an extra £44 [$71.13] a year to every household’s general insurance budget. The insurance industry’s zero tolerance policy towards fraud means we are making it harder than ever for cheats to succeed, and detecting more of the fraud that is committed.”

He added that the report shows the need for “all agencies involved in tackling fraud, to protect potential victims better and reduce the financial cost to honest UK households.”

John Beadle, a member of the board of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), set up in 2006 to combat organized insurance fraud, noted: “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and, in the case of ‘crash for cash’ [staged auto accidents] scams, innocent lives can be put risk.

“The insurance industry is no longer an easy target and takes this criminal activity very seriously. Through working closely with law enforcement agencies, the IFB has been instrumental in over 300 arrests and this drive will continue.”

He also urged “anyone with information on insurance fraud to call the free and confidential Cheatline on 0800 328 2550, or report online at: www.insurancefraudbueau.org/report .”

Source: Association of British Insurers – www.abi.org.uk

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