The ABI claims that its latest anti-fraud campaign, which was launched in April 1999, is altering the public's perception of the crime.

Following a new survey, the ABI claimed that 88% of the public supports the insurance industry's toughening stance on fraudsters.

Tony Baker, the ABI's deputy director general, said: "As our survey shows, people recognise that insurance fraud is not a victimless crime, and that honest policyholders suffer through increased premiums. We are very encouraged that industry initiatives tackle the problem, and raised public awareness, are beginning to pay dividends. However, there can be no room for complacency."

Last year insurance fraud cost the industry £650 million, is a £5m increase on 1998.

The ABI reports that it has received 1,500 calls to its cheatline since it was launched in April 1999. The association says the information received on the confidential phone line has led to a number of voided policies and arrests, which are likely to be followed up by convictions.