Bureau will need additional resources if it pushes into new areas, says director Ben Fletcher

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is asking the industry whether it should expand its scope beyond motor insurance fraud.

The insurer-funded fraud-busting initiative currently focuses on organised motor scams such as crash for cash and ghost broking.

But it is now launching a consultation to ask the industry whether its engagement should extend beyond insurers, and whether it should take the lead on managing grey data - information that is deemed suspicious but is not proof of fraud.

IFB director Ben Fletcher told Insurance Times that after motor, which is the single biggest threat to the industry by volume and value, the next two largest problem fraud areas are property and liability.

But he added that if the industry wanted the IFB to expand into other areas the bureau would have to increase its resources to cope with the additional responsibility.

Fletcher said: “At the moment we are very close to, if not at, capacity. If the industry wanted us to maintain our current focus on cash for crash and expand into other areas we would need to increase the resource to do that.”

When the IFB was formed in 2006, it was asked to focus on crash for cash because it posed the most obvious threat to insurers.

“The purpose of this consultation is to ask the industry what they want the IFB to do and what would provide the most value for them over the next three to five years,” Fletcher said.

The consultation will end on 2 July.

As part of its consultation the IFB is holding one-to-one meetings with insurer chief executives and other stakeholders. The findings will be consolidated in early August and presented to the IFB’s supervisory board in September.

The final documents will outline the IFB’s strategy for 2015 and beyond.