433 fraudsters have been convicted in the seven years IFED has been in existence

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) is celebrating its seventh year aniversary this month.

IFED, which is jointly funded by the ABI and the Corporation of Lloyd’s, was founded in January 2012 and is dedicated to tackling insurance fraud across England and Wales.

It works in collaboration with multiple law enforcement agencies, together with insurers and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) who provide information and intelligence that assists with IFED’s key objective of prosecuting insurance fraudsters. 

Since its inception seven years ago, IFED has secured 433 convictions, 239 years in custodial sentences, 108 years in suspended sentences, 13,355 hours in community orders and over £100,000 in fines.

The unit has also achieved 1,140 additional outcomes, including 489 cautions/conditional cautions. 

Notable cases

Over the past seven years, IFED have disrupted several organised crime groups and put numerous insurance fraudsters behind bars.

Last year alone, IFED’s investigations led to numerous fraudsters being jailed, including a woman who exploited the Grenfell Tower fire, Manchester Arena bombing and London Bridge terror attack to make fraudulent claims, a North London gang who defrauded insurers out of £1m and a serial ‘crash for cash’ fraudster

IFED also carried out two week-long operations in May and November last year across England and Wales aimed at 54 suspected ‘opportunistic’ fraudsters, whose fraudulent claims amounted to a total value of £426,650. 

In January 2017, IFED agreed a further three years funding with the ABI and the Corporation of Lloyd’s, taking the fight to insurance fraudsters up to 2020.

Vital work

Detective chief inspector Craig Mullish, acting head of IFED said: “The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department continues to evolve to counter the ever-changing threat posed by insurance fraudsters, and has achieved some terrific results since it began.

“These figures are a testament to all of the hard work over the past seven years by IFED, in partnership with law enforcement and the insurance industry, which has contributed to bringing serious consequences to those who choose to engage in insurance fraud.

“While some may think insurance fraud is a victimless crime, this simply isn’t the case. It costs the insurance industry billions each year, which in turn raises the cost of premiums for everyone. On top of this, some types of insurance, such as ‘crash for cash’ and ghost broking, bring the public into direct contact with the harms associated with insurance fraud.”

James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI said: “Since its formation, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department has evolved to tackle ever more ingenious insurance scams, including ghost broking, and staged motor accidents, as well as developing public awareness campaigns to help consumers avoid the fraudsters.

“Its work highlights how seriously the industry takes preventing and enforcing against insurance fraud, to protect the interests of honest insurance customers.”

Ryan Smith, corporation financial crime manager a Lloyd’s, said: “The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department carries out vital work to tackle insurance fraud. Insurance is based on trust – that we will pay valid claims when policyholders need us to.

“Fraud undermines this trust, so it is vital we stamp it out. IFED’s seven-year track record is evidence of its success in this regard and we look forward to continuing our support for our colleagues there, so they can keep prosecuting these illegal activities.”