Fraudulent claims are estimated to cost the insurance industry billions each year, with the ABI placing the figure at £2.1 billion in 2021.
Ecclesiastical Insurance’s claims team detected over 130 cases of fraudulent activity during 2022, including cases of claims submitted for alleged slips, trips and falls on premises ranging from churches to heritage properties, which were proven false following investigation.
Examples of fraudulent claims successfully defended include:
- One individual made a claim that glass from an already broken and boarded window had fallen and caused injury
- Another claimed for injury following a trip outside a church. The impact was exaggerated by third party lawyers leading to Ecclesiastical going to trial and saving over £40,000 on the proposed settlement
- One claim stated they received a shock from a washing machine, allegedly causing damage to their teeth – no evidence was found and the claim dismissed
- Other claims were rejected when no evidence was provided to support the claims, with claimants withdrawing once challenged
Through in depth investigation and, where necessary, legal proceedings the specialist insurer’s claims team was able to save the company over £1.3million in casualty claims and over £1.5million in property claims.
By taking action to prevent these claims and make the savings Ecclesiastical has been able to keep costs down, helping to maintain competitive prices – a major concern for customers during the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Jeremy Trott, claims director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “Insurance fraud is a crime that costs insurance companies, and ultimately customers, billions of pounds each year.
“With the ongoing cost of living pressures affecting households and businesses across the country, keeping premiums low is vitally important for our customers – which is why we invest time, money and effort in pursuing false claims and dealing with them in the strongest means possible.
“There is a risk that the economic downturn in the UK will see an increase in fraudulent activity so it is critical that we continue to invest in fraud deterrents to deter fraudsters, detect false claims and take action to help protect our customers.”