Cognitive interviewing techniques to find hidden vehicles

Internet motor insurer esure is to start using cognitive interviewing techniques from 8th June 2009 to tackle fabricated low-value car theft claims where the vehicle is hidden in a lock-up.

Cognitive interviewing is designed to reveal inaccuracies and inconsistencies in fabricated stories. esure uses it as a front-line counter fraud technique which is then combined with Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) where appropriate. VRA is a technology that identifies micro changes in the voice that can occur when a speaker is showing higher levels of stress while giving a statement or answering a question.

Gordon Hannah, director of claims and operations at esure said: "The massive leaps in car security and immobiliser technology have made it very hard to steal any car without expensive specialist equipment. This has helped to dramatically reduce the targeted theft of all but high value cars.

"The knock-on effect of these improvements is that many stolen low-value cars tend to be joy-ridden, burnt out or simply dumped rather than going into the stolen car market."

"We have to be extremely vigilant when investigating unrecovered cars that don't fit the modern stolen car profile. We have found cognitive interviewing to be an effective way of spotting and clamping down on attempted fraud. A skilled interviewer can easily spot flaws and inconsistencies in cover stories that enable us to investigate more effectively."