Working with the Gardaí and government, insurers say their ability to detect insurance fraud has increased in the past year thanks to data science.
Insurers in Ireland are investing in analytical tools to combat insurance fraud, and these investments are already paying dividends.
According to a study by Insurance Ireland and Accenture, 65pc of respondents have increased their efforts to combat fraud over the past 12 months.
‘Tackling fraud requires a system-wide approach with insurers working with Government and the Gardaí for effective deterrence, detection and prosecution’
– KEVIN THOMPSON
The rate of identification of potentially fraudulent claims has increased for 79pc of respondents, compared to 69pc in the previous year.
When asked what actions insurers were taking to combat fraud, 82pc pointed to an increased use of analytical tools and 74pc to a greater focus on investigations.
Of those who responded, 70pc of fraud experts have seen an increase in organised fraud, such as fraud rings. This highlights insurers’ investments in capabilities to identify fraudulent activity.
Watching the data detectives
Despite the enhanced capabilities, 97pc of companies surveyed believe the digital age will increase fraudulent behaviour.
“Tackling fraud requires a system-wide approach with insurers working with Government and the Gardaí for effective deterrence, detection and prosecution,” said Kevin Thompson, CEO of Insurance Ireland.
“Insurers continue to invest in people and technology to improve their ability to tackle fraud, and the findings indicate this is resulting in an increased ability to identify fraud.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and costs the industry here approximately €200m per year, a cost that is ultimately borne by customers. It is incumbent on the industry to do all it can to tackle fraud.”
Thompson said that for insurers, deterring fraudulent activity and identifying it at the earliest stages is critical to preventing unlawful claims.
“Public policy also recognises the challenge of fraud, and the Government’s Cost of Insurance Working Group report outlines a series of actions to help tackle it. Insurance Ireland welcomes this policy focus, and our conference considered further industry cooperation with the Government and the Gardaí to reduce fraud.”