Headlines: November 5th, 2003

The London Public Sector Partnership is helping public bodies to find different ways to combat fraudulent insurance claims. The Partnership includes local authorities, the police, the Serious Fraud Office and Zurich Municipal, a leading provider of risk management and insurance solutions to Britain’s public services.Fraudulent insurance claims have increased substantially since the introduction of the “no win, no fee” procedures. There is particular concern about the claims made against local councils. A survey found that nearly 7% of the British adult population had at some time committed insurance fraud, representing around 3.3 million people. In addition, 47% of adults (or 22.4 million adults) would not rule out the possibility of making an exaggerated claim in the future.

Among the measures being taken to counter fraud are a database system that checks whether claimants provide consistent information and accounts of the incident being claimed for, as well as checking any previous applications made by that person and any known fraud data relating to them. There is also a data sharing arrangement of confirmed fraud that is used by 235 companies in the financial services sector.