’Too many players view fraud knowledge as a source of competitive advantage,’ says executive director

The Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) has warned the insurance sector that there is “too little cross-industry co-operation” over stamping out fraud.

In a statement released yesterday (24 August 2023) Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of the association, said “too many” firms were using its own knowledge as a “competitive advantage” and that more needed to be done to bring scammers to justice.

This came after the ABI revealed earlier this week (23 August 2023) that the value of an average insurance scam in 2022 increased to £15,000, up 20% on 2021.

The figure reflected a rise in the value of property frauds, which rose to £134m.

Scott said the two main enablers to “moving the needle further” on fraud numbers were convictions and cooperation.

“Both need further effort,” he added.

“We want to see fraudsters face the full force of the law, with convictions and prison sentences for scammers, ghost brokers and cash-for-crash criminals the best deterrent to this form of crime.

“But, there also remains far too little cross-industry co-operation, despite everyone sharing the same ultimate goal. It’s partly because, despite technology advances in data analytics, too many players view fraud knowledge as a source of competitive advantage.

“This means conference-platform rhetoric about working together remains just that.”

Moving on

While the average value of an insurance scam rose in 2022, the number of fraudulent claims detected fell 19% year-on-year to 72,600 cases.

Of these, the number of opportunistic frauds decreased by 18% to 63,000 cases.

Scott said it was “good news that fraud has fallen”, but urged the Insurance Fraud Taskforce to reconvene to help encourage more cross-industry cooperation over tackling fraud.

The taskforce was setup in 2015 to investigate the causes of fraudulent behaviour and recommend solutions.

It last produced a report in 2017.

“Its last report on this was over five years years ago, during which time the criminals have moved on,” Scott said. 

“The industry now needs to do the same.”