’While some of the fraudulent claims we detected may seem laughable, insurance fraud is no laughing matter,’ says head
A six-year-old allegedly driving a car was among the “strangest” bogus claims Aviva received in 2022.
In a statement released today (27 November 2023), the insurer revealed that it uncovered more than 9,250 instances of fraud last year, saving £120m in bogus payouts.
It highlighted that motor bodily injury fraud remained prevalent and accounted for 48% of all fraudulent claims Aviva received during 2022.
In one declined claim, a medical expert reported that the claimant was a six-year-old child, only for the same expert to confirm that the claimant was driving the car.
Another fraudulent claim was identified when a front seat passenger reported injuries caused by immense pressure applied to brake, but Aviva noted it would be “virtually impossible for the passenger to access the brake pedal”.
While motor injury fraud was frequent during the year, Aviva also noticed that fraudsters were moving into scams related to the repair and replacement of damaged vehicles.
The insurer detected 22% more fraud on claims for damaged vehicles last year, of which nearly two-thirds was organised fraud committed by third parties.
Meanwhile, the number of home insurance frauds detected by Aviva jumped by 18% last year, with the insurer stopping more bogus claims for accidental damage, accidental loss and theft.
It highlighted that the top five items declined for home insurance fraud were mobile phones, televisions, jewellery, laptops/tablets and watches.
In one case, an investigator stopped a fraudulent theft claim when she raised suspicions around an image of a men’s Omega De Ville Prestige black dial watch, valued at over £20,000.
While conducting further in-depth checks, she found an image online of an identical watch, reading the exact same time to the second, confirming that the image submitted with the claim had been altered.
Aviva subsequently declined the claim.
With such cases in mind, Aviva has deployed new counter-fraud technology solutions, including strengthening its detection tools.
Pete Ward, head of claims counter fraud at Aviva, said the insurer had more than 10,000 claims currently under investigation.
“While some of the fraudulent claims we detected may seem laughable, insurance fraud is no laughing matter,” he added.
“Aviva is here to pay genuine claims quickly, but we won’t pay fraudulent claims. We want to help our customers when they need us and we are committed to ensuring that the cost of insurance fraud is not passed on to our genuine customers.
“Pursuing a fraudulent claim is a very serious matter and there can be many consequences for the individual.
“It can potentially result in the individual’s name being added to the Insurance Fraud Register, an industry-wide database of known fraudsters.
“The register is used by insurers when making underwriting decisions and assessing claims, which means inclusion on this list can impact future insurance applications, credit rating and mortgage applications.”
His career began in 2019, when he joined a local north London newspaper after graduating from the University of Sheffield with a first-class honours degree in journalism.
Now working within the insurance sector, James has a particular focus on motor, M&A activity and financial reporting.View full Profile