Insurers to prepare campaign to coincide with launch of Insurance Fraud Bureau

Insurers are to launch an anti-fraud advertising campaign in a bid to reduce lower value fraud, the ABI has revealed.

The campaign, which is likely to coincide with the launch of the Insurance Fraud Bureau later this year, will be used to raise awareness of the cost to consumers of insurance fraud and warn of the risk of being caught.

The campaign will target frauds such as exaggerating and falsifying claims, rather than the major frauds perpetrated by organised crime rings.

In an ABI survey carried out in 2002, nearly 40% of respondents said they would be prepared to make up an insurance claims, with nearly half being prepared to exaggerate a claim.

ABI director of general insurance Nick Starling told Insurance Times that the nature of the campaign had yet to be determined, but a co-ordinated industry-wide campaign had not been ruled out. Any advertising must be "effectively targeted", he said.

"The ABI's fraud committee is looking at options. There is an agreement in principle of the need for publicity." He said there would be "media activity" around the time of the launch of the bureau.

An industry-wide anti-fraud campaign, using advertising and a whistle-blowers hotline, has been successful in the Republic of Ireland. Last year, Insurance Times revealed that the ABI had sent a representative to Ireland to examine whether the campaign could be replicated in the UK.

The announcement of the advertising campaign came as the ABI unveiled its response to the government's wide-ranging review into reducing the level of fraud in the economy.

The ABI is calling for the development of a national fraud strategy, with targets for the police; the creation of regional fraud squads; and greater sharing of information between public and private sectors.

Starling said: "We need a national fraud strategy based on greater prioritisation and resources for the police and Crown Prosecution Service, to reinforce action being taken by the insurance industry to reduce the problem."

He said: "[Insurance fraud] is part of a much wider fraud issue. People carrying out insurance fraud are carrying out other frauds."

ABI anti-fraud agenda

  • A national fraud strategy, with action plan, targets and process for accountability
  • Regional fraud squads, to provide the police with expertise and resources
  • More comprehensive data on the risks to different sectors, collected through a central collection point
  • Greater information sharing between the public and private sector.