Highway has appointed one of the first generation of “fraud busters” to help crack down on bogus insurance claims.

Kerry Furber, a former officer with the Serious Fraud Office, becomes Highway's new head of fraud risk management. He is an expert in advanced fraud detection techniques.

According to figures from the Association of British Insurers, insurance fraud costs £650m per year. However, there are indications that the figure could be up to £2bn.

Highway plans to tackle bogus motor theft reports, staged accidents and false personal injury claims where, according to some experts, as many as one claim in two is fraudulent.

Furber said: “The combination of new methods and technologies, the introduction of focused data screening tools and the deployment of appropriately trained staff could have a huge impact in reducing fraudulent claims.”

The new techniques will include specific truth/deception analysis of verbal and written statements by claimants.

The method is used in just a few companies worldwide, but has proved effective in identifying and prosecuting false claimants and speeding up the compensation process for genuine claimants.