Fraud and fair processing of your information
Ageas is dedicated to treating customers fairly and is committed to tackling fraud to protect the public and the interests of genuine policyholders. Fraudulently claiming on insurance is not a ‘victimless’ crime. According to the Association of British Insurers, bogus and inflated insurance claims are estimated to cost over £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 hard to prevent insurance fraud.
What is fraud?
There are several definitions of fraud but they all agree to it being a wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. In insurance, it is probably helpful to provide some examples of what we will treat as fraud. Below is a selection of typical examples from insurance, but it is not intended to be an exhaustive list.
We will treat fraud where a policyholder deliberately conceals from us details of:
- 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 provides false details about:
- How vehicle is used, for example when the vehicle is being used for business purposes but we are told it is used only for pleasure purposes only
- 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 license they or any of the drivers hold
How does Ageas help prevent and deal with 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
What we do when we discover fraud we will:
Declare the policy void from the time the fraudulent act took place. This means we will treat the policy as never having been in force and may result that you are not covered in the event of a claim
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 does Ageas use data to help detect and prevent 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 & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC);
- Check and/or file your details with fraud prevention agencies and databases; and
- Undertake credit searches and other searches to verify your details
If you provide false or inaccurate information and fraud is identified, details will be passed to fraud prevention agencies and databases to prevent fraud and money laundering.
The police and other law enforcement agencies may access and use this information.
How we help prevent fraud
We and other other organisations may also access and use this information to help prevent fraud and money laundering, for example, when:
- Checking details on applications for credit and credit related accounts or other facilities;
- Managing credit and credit related accounts or others facilities;
- Recovering debt;
- Checking details on proposals and claims for all types of insurance;
- Checking details of job applicants and employees.
We are committed to you keeping premiums low by using tools and dedicated fraud resources. To enable 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 obtaining cover in the first instance
- Check proof of No Claims discount
- Examine policy changes to recognise suspicious policy activity mid-term fraud
- Share information about policyholders and claimants with other organisations and public bodies including the Police
We and other organisations access and use information to prevent fraud and money laundering, for example, when:
- Checking details on applications for credit and credit-related or other facilities
- Managing credit and credit-related accounts or facilities
- Recovering debt
- Checking details on proposals and claims for all types of insurance; and checking details of job applicants and employees
We and other organisations may also access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies .
If a claim made under any Ageas policy is fraudulent in any respect, all benefits under the Policy may be forfeited.
If you would like details of the relevant fraud prevention agencies and databases we access or contribute to, please contact us at:
Hampshire Corporate Park
Or by Email: email@example.com
How do I report fraud?
If you believe fraud is being committed that affects Ageas, please contact the Ageas Fraud Cheatline on 0345 168 5674 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 that you are a victim of identity theft, it is advisable for you to contact CIFAS – the UK's Fraud Prevention Service for advice at www.identityfraud.org.uk
There are a number of websites where further information can be found:
Some useful tips to combat identity fraud
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be your bank, do not give any information. Call your own branch to confirm if the caller was genuine.
Equally do not reply to emails that claim to be from your bank. No bank would ask for verification of 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. Do not reveal these to anyone.
Check 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 have been a victim of ID fraud, tell your bank or building society immediately
Other useful links