The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) opens for business this week but there are concerns insurance fraud will not feature prominently on its radar.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Insurance will not be a primary focus for us but we will be investigating the most serious crimes connected to this."

SOCA will be targeting UK criminal networks involved in drug trafficking, people-smuggling and money-laundering. It brings together the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Crime Squad and will also take over organised crime investigations from the immigration service and HM Revenue & Customs.

Mark Jones, managing director of insurance fraud investigators Conversant Data, said: "I am not sure this will make a huge amount of difference. We already had agencies investigating in these areas. Insurance remains a soft target."

He added the insurance industry also needed to know more about the role of the Insurance Fraud Bureau which is due to launch in July.

"My concern is there is too much focus on larger insurers, so fraudsters will start targeting smaller companies."

A spokeswoman for the ABI said: "We are working with SOCA on organised insurance fraud and on the Suspicious Activity Reports regime. We welcome the broader powers SOCA possesses to share information with the private sector to prevent crime.

"We will be looking to build links between SOCA and the Insurance Fraud Bureau, with the possibility of reciprocal data sharing."