Vertical Markets

Cash for ‘Claimed and Shamed’ unit

by Mark Rowe

The insurance industry is spending more on the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), the City of London Police unit.

The £11.7m, over three years, from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), will fund expansion in the work of IFED with more detectives joining the 38-strong unit, which is tackling insurance fraud in England and Wales.

The funding decision comes midway through IFED’s third year in operation, in which time it has investigated millions of pounds worth of insurance fraud, made 430 arrests and brought to justice 223 insurance fraudsters by securing police cautions and court convictions.

IFED has also obtained court orders to the value of £117,911 against insurance fraudsters under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and also has hundreds of thousands of pounds under restraint pending the outcomes of criminal investigations.

The team acts with operational independence while working with the insurance industry, taking on investigations from insurer referrals and generating its own work.

IFED starred in the BBC TV series ‘Claimed and Shamed’, which introduced viewers to the unit and showed how there are serious consequences to this type of criminality.

City of London Police Commissioner, Adrian Leppard, said: “Since IFED’s birth we have time and again delivered on our pledge to make England and Wales a more hostile environment to perpetrate insurance fraud. With every scam investigated, arrest made and conviction secured we have made it more difficult for fraudsters to operate and sent a strong message that insurance fraud is a crime and that there are serious consequences for those who commit it.

“The decision by members of the Association of British Insurers to extend and increase IFED’s funding over the next three years provides further industry recognition that we have delivered both for the insurance industry and for the public. This important, new, funding agreement will allow us to make an even greater impact in the future by expanding our team and working with different insurers covering a mix of markets and products.”

And John O’Roarke, Managing Director, LV= General Insurance, and Chair, ABI Financial Crime Committee said: “The increased investment from ABI members in the IFED reinforces the industry’s zero tolerance approach to insurance fraud, and recognition of the key role IFED has to play in tackling this problem. The insurance industry remains fully committed to working collaboratively to combat insurance fraud and protecting its honest customers. Anyone tempted to commit insurance fraud should be left in no doubt that they will be caught and face a very real possibility of serving a custodial sentence.”

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