News story

Government welcomes measures to tackle insurance fraud

A series of measures put forward by the IFT (Insurance Fraud Taskforce) will help tackle insurance fraud and reduce costs for consumers.

Looking at papers with a magnifying glass. Copyright istock.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin and Minster of State for Justice Lord Faulks today welcomed a series of recommendations that will tackle insurance fraud, reducing costs and protecting the interests of honest consumers.

The final recommendations of the IFT will tackle fraudulent activity ranging from organised or premeditated crime to opportunistic fraud. The recommendations:

  • aim to improve consumer trust in the insurance sector and raise the public profile of insurance fraud as a criminal activity
  • encourage greater use of data sharing and collaboration between the insurance sector and regulatory bodies to better prevent organised insurance fraud
  • reflect and support the government’s intentions to clamp down on unnecessary whiplash claims, which are a major source of fraud and strengthen regulation of claims management companies

The Economic Secretary welcomed these recommendations while speaking at the British Insurance Brokers Association’s Parliamentary Reception.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin said:

A key part of our long-term plan is to make sure that the insurance industry works for consumers. That’s why we launched the Insurance Fraud Taskforce in January 2015 to tackle insurance fraud.

After a year of valuable research and ground breaking dialogue, I welcome the recommendations that have been published today.

These recommendations will galvanise our collective efforts to tackle insurance fraud, and will ultimately reduce costs for consumers.

Justice Minister Lord Faulks said:

Fraudulent and exaggerated claims force up the costs of insurance premiums for everyone and we must take steps to tackle this.

I welcome this report by the taskforce, which makes wide-ranging recommendations to help combat insurance fraud. Many people contributed to this, and I am particularly pleased that a Personal Injury Working Group was established to capture the expertise of both claimant and defendant practitioners.

As the report notes, the government has already brought forward significant reforms to the way in which claims are dealt with and we will continue to take more action to drive down premiums for hard-working people.

The IFT noted that insurance fraud is not always recognised as criminal activity. It is therefore vital that the insurance sector takes steps to curb a culture of distrust trust towards the industry and a lack of popular understanding of how insurance works. For example, the IFT recommends making application and claims forms easier to understand and launching new anti-fraud campaigns.

To ensure these goals are achieved, the IFT has also suggested that the government establishes a legacy vehicle to oversee the implementation of its recommendations, and maintain dialogue between different sectors regarding insurance fraud.

Published 18 January 2016