The Insurance Fraud Bureau says brokers can help fight back against a rising tide of application fraud

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has opened its doors to brokers in an effort to widen the net on fraudsters and fight back against rising application fraud.

And two brokers have already signed up – Adrian Flux Group and Carole Nash.

The IFB is now offering brokers a two-tier membership model in order to encourage more brokers to sign up.

Under the new model, brokers can choose to access the full suite of IFB products and services or receive only high-risk information such as about suspected ghost broker rings or cases of misrepresentation.

IFB business development manager Nick Benham said opening membership up to brokers would help the insurance industry detect and fight a rising tide of application fraud, with one in five referrals to the IFB now relating to fraud at the application stage of a policy’s lifecycle.

“Brokers have access to quite rich data and intelligence, and information collected at point of sale and point of quote is vital if you are trying to detect organised application fraud,” he said. “In the last year or so the number of organised application scams, ghost broker rings and misrepresentation [being taken on by the IFB] has increased dramatically.

“In that sense, having brokers on board to help identify and take action against application fraud is a natural step for us.”

Benham also confirmed that the IFB was investigating 20 suspect ghost brokers across the country, when just two years ago the IFB had no application frauds under investigation.

Carole Nash chief executive David Newman said he hoped that signing up to the IFB could help take the fight against fraud to the front line and deliver better underwriting results for the broker’s underwriters.

“Joining the IFB will allow us to identify the very small number of fraudsters that potentially we might be exposed to,” he said. “Ultimately that will improve the underwriting experience for the underwriters themselves, and we hope this would bring the combined operating ratio down, which we would then be reflected in the remuneration we enjoy.”