ACSO Comments on the ABI’s latest fraud statistics

ACSO Comments on the ABI’s latest fraud statistics

Commenting on the latest statistics, Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ASCO,
said: “We welcome the ABI’s renewed focus on getting to the facts about the extent of insurance fraud in the UK, but there remain big question marks over the methodology and how the ABI interprets the data.

For example, the ABI notes that there were 371,000 ‘dishonest’ insurance applications, but how many of those had criminal intent, and how many were software detecting that customers had filled in their forms incorrectly? If the ABI separated genuine mistakes in applications from premeditated attempts to defraud insurers, we would get a clearer picture of the true extent of fraud. Most of us make mistakes from time to time filling in a form, but doesn’t mean we’re fraudsters.

We also note that 1,300 scams are uncovered every day but according to the ABI there are only two criminal convictions or cautions for insurance fraud per week. That’s a conviction rate of 0.0002%, despite the industry spending £250m a year to counter fraud. £2.4m per conviction is not a good return on investment. The best definition of fraud is to measure actual conviction rates in the courts, and the best deterrent to fraudsters is for the police to prosecute criminals and the Courts to send them to prison. Insurers have used fraud numbers to justify policy changes, but MPs and others have questioned the veracity of the figures.

We call for the ABI to submit their findings to independent peer review, for example from the Office for National Statistics, to give us all confidence that the report passes the ‘Ronseal test’ and does what it says on the tin. This process could be managed via a cross industry working party to produce independent and reliable fraud data, accessible to all, which drives a market-wide approach to tackling fraud.”

About ACSO
ACSO is a not-for-profit trade association which is supported by more than 30 leading claimant sector organisations. It was established in January 2019 to represent the interests of consumers in the civil justice system and the reputable, diverse range of organisations who are united in providing the highest standards of service in support of those consumers. Its role is to engage with policymakers, regulators, industry and the media to ensure there is a properly functioning, competitive and sustainable justice system for honest consumers.

For more information please contact Ben Welsh 07568 382040