A total of 10 people were arrested across the country and 18 vehicles seized during a two-week police operation to tackle commercial insurance fraud, including corporate benefit plans.
The operation was executed by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) from 30 October to 10 November 2023.
Examples of insurance fraud targeted during this period included fraudulent claims made by employees on their corporate benefit plans, bogus claims on motor and business premises insurance and ghost brokers who sold fake motor insurance policies for vehicles used for business purposes.
Detailing the corporate benefit plan fraud the IFED: “We executed two search warrants in east London on 31 October as part of an investigation into a series of suspected fraudulent claims made on a corporate dental insurance plan.
“Digital items were seized, and two people will attend voluntary interviews,” the IFED said.
The City of London Police told Health & Protection it was unable to publicise anything further at the moment, as it could jeopardise any legal proceedings that may occur.
Health & Protection previously reported cases of opportunistic fraud in Britain jumped by 61% from March 2022 to April 2023, according to the (IFED).
It believed the steep increase was due to the cost of living crisis hitting many people across the country, causing increased numbers of otherwise law-abiding citizens to turn to insurance fraud as a way to ease financial hardships.
Also during the operation, a former insurance broker was charged with 39 counts of fraud by false representation and one count of money laundering.
Gary Whipps, 31, of Thundersley Church Road, Essex, is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 1 December 2023, according to the IFED.
Detective inspector Simon Klust, from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), said: “People who make fake claims on their corporate insurance plan or commit ‘crash for cash’ fraud using business vehicles push insurance premiums up for everyone else.
“Through this operation, we’re sending a clear message that we will disrupt the efforts of insurance fraudsters.”
Mark Allen, assistant director, head of fraud and financial crime at the Association of British Insurers, said: “We know these are challenging times for many businesses facing higher operating costs, and insurers work hard to pay legitimate claims quickly.
“But committing insurance fraud is not the answer to raising money. It is a crime with far reaching consequences for the fraudster, including receiving a custodial sentence, and difficulty in getting future insurance. Neither is it a victimless crime, as ultimately it pushes up the cost of insurance for all honest customers.
“This is why we fully support initiatives like this to crack down on the cheats and protect honest insurance customers”.
Jon Radford, head of intelligence, investigations and data services at the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said: “Commercial insurance fraud affects everyone; it makes consumers’ premiums more expensive, and it can put innocent people at risk. For instance, more commercial ghost brokers mean a higher risk of innocent road users being involved in a collision with an uninsured vehicle.
“We’re placing a greater focus on disrupting commercial insurance fraud in collaboration with IFED and insurers to stop the issue from becoming even more prevalent. We urge anyone who has information on commercial insurance fraud to report it to our confidential CheatLine.”