News & Views from a Private Investigator

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Posted: October 02, 2015

Insurance Fraud Made Simple:

Fraud is generally categorised as a form of conduct that involves the use of deceitful or dishonest means to gain an unfair advantage. As a criminal act, in Australia, there are over 300 separate offences that could be charged in connection with acts of dishonesty, whilst in other countries, such as England and Wales for example, fraud is considered as a specific, individual offence.

Unfortunately, defining and quantifying fraud in Australia is particularly difficult because there is yet to be an agreed operational definition for fraud, as well as the fact that there are so many elements in which dishonesty can play a role.

As such, and despite varying approaches to the statistical analysis of fraud in Australia, there is very little up-to-date information regarding the effects of fraud on Australian commerce. The Australian Institute of Criminology has made a valiant attempt to enumerate and describe the characteristics of fraud in Australia, but the organisation itself has admitted to having very limited access to fraud-related facts and figures.

If you would like to see what challenges lie in assessing the cost of fraud in Australia, please have a look at the Australian Institute of Criminology’s recent article on Fraud Statistics in Australia, available by clicking here.

Insurance Fraud in Australia

There are numerous sources available on the internet, which describe annual insurance fraud statistics. However, many of those sources contradict each other, present incredibly different information or information that cannot be confirmed – again, the Australian Institute of Criminology has taken this fact on board and decided that the most recent study of Insurance Fraud in Australia, conducted by IGA in 2004, is the most accurate.

Based on this report, and in conjunction with the findings of the Association of British Insurers, it is estimated that as much as 10-15% of general insurance claims are fraudulent, which equates to an annual cost of $3 Billion AUS.

What does this mean though?

Other than the fact that nearly all insurance policies in Australia, where policy holders do not make fraudulent claims, are essentially subsidising the costs of false claims (an estimated $73 per policy holder), insurance fraud can have a number of harmful effects on individuals and businesses alike:

  • Higher Insurance Premiums to cover the losses suffered by insurance companies each year.
  • Trade and transport prices increase as the suppliers need to pay higher prices for their own insurance – these price hikes are passed on to customers.
  • Insurance fraud can involve a number of serious crimes as a direct result of the claimants trying to manipulate the system. There are a number of proven cases where people have committed murder as a means to defraud their life insurance companies, arson to make a claim on their home or office insurance, staged car crashes to claim from car insurers and even unnecessary surgeries (not a crime, we know) to make claims on health insurance.
  • Fraudulent workplace injury matters often cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage claims, and lead to disruptions and unscheduled downtime as investigators step in to analyse the situation. Furthermore, the time and costs involved in sourcing a replacement for the “injured” employee should be taken into consideration, as well as the impending legal fees, if the employee wishes to press charges or proceed to a court hearing.
  • In cases where insurance fraudsters go undetected, and manage to escape the law, the companies affected can suffer from shame, severe financial strain and disrepute, making it particularly difficult to maintain their market positions or regain traction.

It’s with all of this in mind that we wish to extend a professional invitation to those who may have suffered the effects of a fraudulent claim, or those who feel as though they may be facing one in the near future. Precise Investigation has provided successful insurance investigations to Australian companies and the public for three decades, bringing with that experience an immense collection of industry-related techniques to effectively ascertain the legitimacy of a claim.

No matter where you’re based in Australia, we can have a specialist, insurance investigator at your doorstep at the drop of a hat. Each of our operatives are backed by a dedicated support team to ensure a fast, discrete and highly effective investigation with every case we undertake.

Call Precise Investigation today on 1300 856 011 for a professional, Private Investigation Service

To explore our insurance investigation services in more detail before getting in touch, please click here to navigate over to the relevant page on the Precise Investigation website.

Precise Investigation can have a qualified, licensed and dually experienced professional investigator provide you with the assistance you need whether you’re based in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane or even the more remote areas of the country.

Get in touch with us today to see how our tried and tested services have helped hundreds of Australian clients to recover their losses and protect themselves from the dangers of fraud.

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