Some referrals to police not accepted owing to workload

The specialist police unit dedicated to combating insurance fraud is working so close to capacity that the industry doesn’t expect it to take on another ghost broking case before 2014.

The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), part of the City of London Police, has made 384 arrests and secured 48 convictions since it was set up last January.

Last month about 170 officers from several police forces made 27 arrests connected to a suspected ghost broking ring following a lengthy IFED investigation.

But IFED is almost maxed out, according to industry fraud specialists.

AXA UK head of fraud Richard Davies said: “I wouldn’t expect them to look at other ghost broking cases until the New Year.

“To help the industry IFED are now guiding us make best use of our resources by letting us know how close they are to capacity.”

An exclusive Insurance Times fraud survey found that a quarter of UK general insurance professionals don’t believe IFED has had a significant impact on the fight against fraud.

Speaking at the Insurance Times Fraud Charter, Insurance Fraud Bureau director Ben Fletcher defended IFED and said it had “increased capacity to take enforcement action, raised standards within the industry and increased media profile”.

He added: “I think they’ve done everything that the industry had asked them to do and more.

“The only reason that any insurer might not be happy with IFED would be because they have not had cases accepted, but that relates back to the capacity and the quality issue which is something that is within the industry’s control.”

Read the full Insurance Times Fraud Report here