Aviva investigating 15,000 claims

The Actuary reports that Aviva suspects organised motor insurance fraud increased by 28% between 2013 and 2014.

The insurer said the value of fraud increased from £30m in 2013 to £38m in 2014, and it currently has more than 15,000 ‘suspicious claims’ under investigation.

Tom Gardiner, head of fraud at Aviva, said insurance fraud had implications for premiums.

‘Our figures show that insurance fraud remains a significant and complex challenge, but the biggest threat to customers continues to be fraudulent motor claims, which puts innocent motorists at risk of physical harm, while pushing up premiums for everyone,’ he said.

Gardiner said Aviva paid out more than more £2.3bn for 873,000 claims in 2014, but that one in nine motor whiplash claims were ‘tainted by fraud’.

The company is urging the government to consider changes to the claims system, including replacing cash compensation with rehabilitation.

‘Although Aviva has continued to invest in its ability to detect, challenge and prosecute the plague of fraudulent whiplash claims, and supports steps taken by government to address the problem, we believe that further steps must be taken to deal with the root cause of the UK’s cash for crash industry,’ Gardiner said.

‘Changes we are calling for include removing the cash and profit incentives from the system, such as replacing cash compensation for minor, short-term injuries with rehabilitation.’

Aviva detected and declined more than 6,390 cases of motor insurance application fraud in 2014 and said it would take preventive measures to prevent fraudsters from buying Aviva products.

Tom added, ‘The fight against fraud begins at the front door. We are now screening our personal and commercial motor business at the point of sale and we are committed to protecting our brokers and innocent customers from being targeted by fraudsters and ensuring that fraudsters cannot buy Aviva products.’