Zurich to base fraud co-ordinators across the country

Zurich said it will detect and stop the growing number of fraudulent claims by basing a team of fraud co-ordinators across the country.

The co-ordinators will work with personal lines and commercial lines claims handlers.

The number of co-ordinators to be appointed has not been finalised, but Zurich fraud liaison manager Glen Marr said the insurer was "currently finalising the role profile and salary".

"Instead of having claims handlers with anti-fraud expertise, the fraud co-ordinators will be a full-time referral point for claims handlers.

"The fraud co-ordinators will also be responsible for claims handlers' fraud training and fraud awareness," Marr said.

The appointment of fraud co-ordinators is the latest initiative taken by Zurich in its efforts to combat fraud. The insurer recently went live on Hunter, the information-sharing database.

The ABI is scheduled to meet this week to consider proposals from four potential suppliers of an industry-wide anti-fraud database.

A sub-group of the ABI anti-fraud committee will convene to examine proposals received from IBM, ISO, CSC and Experian.

The ABI is expected to make a final decision on its chosen supplier by the end of August.

Once an announcement has been made, the ABI, in conjunction with the chosen supplier, will embark on a "design phase", in which it will produce a proof-of-concept model.

The ABI is considering a number of other anti-fraud initiatives.

Among the ideas are the formation of a panel of approved fraud investigators and the establishment of the UK equivalent of the US National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

Research carried out by the ABI earlier this year revealed that fraudulent claims on motor and household insurance cost insurers and policyholders £20m a week.