Britons see insurance fraud as more acceptable during recession

Nia Williams

February 2, 2009

4.7 million Britons do not think making a false claim is wrong, one million more than nine months ago Only just over half of those surveyed strongly agree that lying on an insurance claim is wrong

Two pieces of research carried out by the UK’s largest commercial insurer, RSA, in March 2008 and January 2009, have suggested that the economic climate could be creating a more lax public attitude towards insurance fraud.

In March 2008, RSA’s research showed that a surprising 3.6 million Britons did not think it was wrong to lie on an insurance claim. Having researched the matter again this month, it is clear that the public opinion of insurance fraud has shifted. It now seems that 4.7 million do not think making a fraudulent insurance claim is wrong.

Additionally, 1 in 12 surveyed admitted that their attitude towards committing insurance fraud had changed in the last 12 months with an implied 1.4 million people viewing it to be more acceptable due to factors such as the current economic woes.

A typical example of insurance fraud is failing to disclose motoring convictions or previous claims when applying for cover.

John Beadle, Counter-Fraud Manager at RSA, said, “I am concerned that people are still failing to acknowledge that committing insurance fraud is a serious offence. Many that commit this crime do so in the belief that it is a victimless way to make money but, ironically, they are costing honest customers over £1.6bn a year.

“RSA is working hard both individually and in conjunction with the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the rest of the industry to crack down on insurance fraud. By introducing new sophisticated detection technology, sharing fraudulent case data and working together we believe we are gradually winning the battle and the fraudsters are facing the consequences with the prospect of criminal convictions and the fact that they might find it difficult to obtain insurance cover or other financial services in the future”.

For more information on RSA and insurance fraud, please speak to your usual RSA contact, or see our website, www.rsagroup.com

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