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Survey: Younger Generations More Tolerant of Fraud

By | June 9, 2023

A significant number of Americans ages 44 and younger show a high level of tolerance for insurance fraud, according to a new survey of insurance consumers by Verisk and the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

The accompanying study found that while nearly all Americans over age 55 view insurance fraud as a crime, about 75% of those between 25 and 44 consider it a crime – and the percentage skewed down to 64% for those between ages 18 and 24.

“This study should sound the alarm for insurers, consumer activists, regulators, and legislators on the state of fraud in America,” said Matthew Smith, executive director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. “While it’s marginally reassuring that 84% of Americans in the survey consider insurance fraud a crime, the 16% that do not consider it a crime potentially represent more than 53 million Americans.”

The study collected more than 1,500 responses from a group of insurance-purchasing consumers matching the demographic standards identified in the 2020 U.S. Census. It analyzes how American policy purchasers view insurance fraud and insurance crime. The study also explores the psychology of insurance fraud through in-depth interviews with those convicted of insurance fraud to understand their motivations and justifications.

The authors note that in recent years, insurers have increasingly cut, outsourced and paired down their anti-fraud efforts – making the information especially timely. The spread between attitudes and acceptance of fraud by those under age 45 “should be a warning call that such actions, if they continue, may cause great peril and harm in the ability to effectively fight insurance fraud in the decades ahead,” the study reads.

Notable findings include:

  • Over 30% of 25-34-year-olds “definitely would” submit a fraudulent property damage claim.
  • About 27% of those ages 18-24 would commit workers’ compensation fraud, compared to less than 10% of those 45 and older.
  • Over a quarter of those 18-34 are “motivated” to commit insurance fraud compared to less than 7% of those over 45.

Key Finding

“Above any other piece of individual or collective data in this study, we learned a clear line of demarcation exists in our nation between older and younger Americans in how they perceive insurance fraud,” the study reads.

About 96% of those surveyed who are older than 65 consider insurance fraud to be a crime. That number was about 95% for those between the ages of 55-64 and about 88% for those ages 45-54.

“The apparently most honest of policyholders (ages 55 and above) in future decades will continue to be a decreasing percentage of our population and our collective anti-fraud conscience. In their place will be those respondents who appear quite eager to be willing participants in the commission of insurance crimes, even when it requires implicating their employers or colluding with their doctors,” the study reads.

Nearly 20% of survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 justified insurance fraud because they believe “insurance companies rip people off, so it’s fair.”

The full study includes graphs, deep data exploration and detailed case studies. It can be downloaded from

“The results prove the continued need for insurers to be hypervigilant about the impact of fraud on their book of business,” said Maroun Mourad, president of Verisk Claims Solutions. “The fact that younger generations are more tolerant and motivated to commit claims fraud indicates that this problem is not going away and is likely to persist in the future. Carriers would be wise to set up a strong perimeter defense to ensure they are adequately and accurately detecting potential fraud throughout the policy life cycle.”

Topics Trends Fraud

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