Insurance fraud costs everyone
Insurance fraud, such as false claims and exaggerated injuries isn’t a victimless crime. We’re dedicated to treating our customers fairly and are committed to tackling fraud to protect the public and our genuine policyholders.
Insurance fraud isn’t a ‘victimless’ crime. According to the Association of British Insurers, bogus and inflated insurance claims are estimated to cost more than £2.1 billion a year – adding around £50 to the premiums of honest policyholders. We try to avoid passing on that cost to our genuine customers by fighting to prevent insurance fraud.
What is insurance fraud?
Take a look at the examples below to find out what we treat as fraud. These are typical examples, but not an exhaustive list. We’ll treat something as fraud when a policyholder deliberately conceals details from us such as:
- Previous motoring convictions on motoring-related policies
- Previous criminal convictions when asked about them on any policy
- Claims made under any policy when asked about them
- Actions by insurers to cancel or void a policy
- The true address for the person taking insurance cover
Or they give us false details about:
- How a vehicle is used, for example for business purposes, but we’re told it’s only used for pleasure
- The value of items to be insured, for example on home or travel policies
- The main user of a car. For example, when the true main user is someone other than the policyholder, such as a son or daughter
- The number of years’ No Claims Bonus entitlement
- The questions we ask during the quotation process. For example, date of birth or occupation of any of the drivers named on the policy
- The type or validity of the driving licence they or any of the drivers hold
How do we help to stop fraud?
We check external fraud prevention agencies, databases and undertake credit searches at:
- Application stage
- Shortly after the policy start date
- At the time of any policy change
- At renewal
- When a claim is made
We may ask for:
- A vehicle registration certificate (known as the V5C)
- A valuation for specified items
- Driving licence, including the counterpart for each driver named on the policy
- Proof of residency at an address
- Proof of ownership of any item to be insured
- Proof of your No Claims bonus
If we discover fraud, we’ll declare the policy void from the time the fraudulent act took place. This means we’ll treat the policy as never having been in force and this may result in the customer not being covered in the event of a claim.
We share our data for fraud prevention purposes with the wider financial services industry, such as banks and building societies. This could make it more expensive for fraudsters to buy insurance in the future and they may find it difficult to get a mortgage or bank loan for example.
How we use data to help detect fraud
To protect the interests of our policyholders and to prevent and detect fraud, we may at any time:
- Share information about you with the police, other insurance companies and government agencies such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Check and file your details with fraud prevention agencies and databases
- Undertake credit searches and other searches to verify your details
If you give us false or inaccurate information and fraud is identified, your details will be passed on to fraud prevention agencies and databases to prevent fraud and money laundering. The police and other law enforcement agencies may then access and use this information.
How we help to prevent fraud
We and other organisations may also access and use this information to help prevent fraud and money laundering, for example, when we:
- Check details on applications for credit and credit-related accounts or other facilities
- Manage credit and credit-related accounts or other facilities
- Recover debt
- Check details on proposals and claims for all types of insurance
- Check details of job applicants and employees
We’re committed to keeping premiums as low as we can by using tools and dedicated fraud resources. To help us to do this we:
- Have a team of fraud specialists to help protect you against insurance fraud now and in the future
- Train our employees
- Use the latest technology to detect fraud
- Prosecute fraudsters
- Look at every insurance application to detect and prevent fraudsters getting cover in the first place
- Check proof of No Claims Discount
- Examine policy changes to recognise suspicious policy activity or mid-term fraud
- Share information about policyholders and claimants with other organisations and public bodies, including the police
We and other organisations may also access and use information recorded by fraud prevention agencies in other countries.
If a claim made under any Ageas policy is fraudulent in any respect, all benefits under the policy may be forfeited.
If you’d like details of the relevant fraud prevention agencies and databases we access or contribute to, please contact us by:
Hampshire Corporate Park
How do I report fraud?
If you believe fraud is being committed and it affects us, please contact the Ageas Fraud Cheatline on 0345 168 5674 or email email@example.com.
If you wish to report general insurance fraud, please contact the Insurance Fraud Bureau Cheatline on 0800 422 0421.
Your identity and personal information are valuable. Criminals can find out your personal details and use them to open bank accounts and get credit cards, loans, state benefits and documents such as passports and driving licences in your name. Alternatively, fraudsters can use your information to gain access to your existing accounts. If your identity is stolen, you may have difficulty getting loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is sorted out.
If you think you’ve been a victim of identity theft, get in touch with CIFAS. They’re the UK's Fraud Prevention Service and are there to help you. Visit their website at www.identityfraud.org.uk
You can also find out more information at:
Useful tips to combat identity fraud:
- If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be your bank, do not give them any information and call your own branch to confirm if the caller was genuine
- Don’t reply to emails that claim to be from your bank – no bank would ask for your account details by email
- Be wary of emails that begin ‘Dear customer’, rather than using your name
- Your bank will never ask you to reveal your PIN or passwords in full, so never give anyone this information
- Check your bank statements regularly – this is a good way to spot any fraudulent transactions
- You can also check your credit file for signs of accounts opened in your name
- If you think you’ve been a victim of ID fraud, tell your bank or building society straight away