Names and personal details of convicted fraudsters have been entered into industry-wide database

The Insurance Fraud Register (IFR) is now live, with more than 20% of ABI members already signed up, Insurance Times can reveal.

The IFR was launched in September 2012, but it wasn’t until 11 December last year that insurers were able to load their fraud data into the system.  

AXA is among the first set of big insurers to load the names, addresses and telephone details of confirmed fraudsters onto the industry-wide database.

Other members of the IFR project board that have led on the scheme include Aviva and RSA.

AXA global chief fraud control officer Richard Davies, who sits on the IFR project board, said: “It’s going to be a fairly slow load process because we are going to be cautious of who we put into that database in the initial months.

“But [the IFR] will generate fairly significant numbers of records by the end of the year as we get more insurers on board and there’s a better understanding of exactly what you need to do to get a record into the database.”

The IFR is currently available to ABI members, but Davies said the IFR board is discussing “as a matter of urgency” the ability to open it up to other organisations.

“I’m absolutely of the opinion that all antifraud data should be made available to people who are managing fraud – that would include the IFR and it should be made available to the legal communities and the broking communities as quickly as possible.

“Instead of managing the issue at the claims stage, we’ll actually start blocking out customers from taking out policies with us.”

The IFR’s first-year target is to get a 23% sign-up rate of insurer members, with 90% of the market on board within five years.

Delays to the IFR were blamed on signing off the legal framework.

“The biggest reputational risk out there is that we load somebody into the register who shouldn’t be there and [no-one] wants to see that happen,” Davies said.

Insurers need to advise customers if they intend loading their details onto the IFR and give reasons for doing so. Customers have the opportunity to appeal this through the respective insurer, the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), the Information Commission and also the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The ABI is the sponsor of the IFR on behalf of its members, and it is is being managed by the IFB in partnership with the ABI.