IFIC Forensics has seen a rise in deliberate fires at domestic properties and smaller commercial businesses

IFIC Forensics has launched a forensic fire triage service to help insurers detect arson in fire damage claims.

The new service provides insurers with a report detailing remediation and liability advice, allowing them to make informed decisions and providing the opportunity to limit liability, prove contributory negligence, recover costs and repudiate fraudulent claims. 

IFIC Forensics said that one in three fires at hotels, pubs and restaurants results from arson, and estimates that one in seven domestic fires is started deliberately.

According to the latest ABI figures from 2009, insurers pay out £3.6m every day for fire damage, while there is an arson detection rate of only 8%.

IFIC Forensics chairman and principal investigator Dr Jim Lygate said: “Historically our support for our insurer and adjuster clients was predominantly focused around major, high value, international cases. In the past year we have increasingly seen our instructions extend to include lower value domestic residential and small commercial fire claims. This demonstrates the market’s growing appetite to minimise fraud exposure from arson claims and effectively manage liability and recover costs on these lower value fire claims.

“We have designed our forensic triage service in response to that market need and demand for the service continues to grow. Fire investigation is vital for the insurance industry and with continued cutbacks to the UK fire and rescue services leaving insurers’ bottom lines at risk, we are proactively recruiting talent and investing in the fire investigators of the future.”