The law firm will continue to work with Aviva to stamp out fraud while identifying new areas exploited by fraudsters

Last week, law firm, Horwich Farrelly bagged 10 case wins in five days for Aviva, saving the insurer and its customers almost £100,000 in the process.

The successful convictions for these fundamental dishonesty claims allowed Aviva to recoup approximately £96,000 in legal fees from the claimants.

Figures from the ABI reveal that detected insurance fraud in 2018 topped £12,000 with 1,300 insurance scams uncovered daily.

Although fraud has decreased, Jared Mallinson, fraud and Aviva client account partner at Horwich Farrelly told Insurance Times that while the outcome of these cases have an ”extremely positive” impact on the industry – there ’s more to be done.

But Mallinson explained that “it is important for the industry to remain resolute in securing contempt convictions and more prison sentences”. 

Meanwhile he said that it’s not just about the fraudulent claimant, “the wider picture needs to be taken into account which means also looking at professional enablers such as claims management companies and unlawful medical practitioners who may play an active role in fraudulent claims”.

A leopard doesn’t change its spots 

The 10 cases confirmed that there is no such thing as a typical fraudster in that they can be of any background, occupation, age, gender “but the claims themselves are identifiable by certain traits and evidence submitted, or indeed omitted”, Mallinson explained. 

It is therefore crucial that the insurance industry investigates every claim that is suspected to be fraudulent, regardless of the background of the person making the claim, he stressed. 

”However, it is a long battle and a leopard doesn’t change its spots overnight. When one gap in fraud is closed, fraudsters will look to move into another area until that is shut down. Whiplash fraudsters moving into holiday illness fraud is a strong example of this.

And if these gaps in fraudulent claims went unchallenged and were not investigated thoroughly then overall fraud would have risen significantly, breeding an entitlement mentality without legal basis for a claim,” Mallinson. 

What’s next?

Aviva and Horwich Farrelly will continue working together to fight fraud by tackling established methods of fraud as well as identifying new areas within the industry that are being exploited by fraudsters.

Both companies will continue to strive for maximum penalties for those involved in fraudulent claims in order to serve as a deterrent to others and also target professional enablers.

Mallinson explained that the hope is to make people think twice before doing so in the future, but the overall purpose is to drive down fraud although it is going to be a long battle.

“As Aviva has noted, the majority of claimants are genuine, and they pay 96% of claims they receive, but the more examples that we see of fraudsters being given meaningful sanctions, and hit with heavy cost penalties like in these cases, the more it raises awareness about the consequences of making a false claim,” he concluded.