Allianz Ireland Gets Tough with Fraudsters

  • Up to July 31st 2018, Allianz Ireland has challenged over 100 suspicious cases in the courts and made an average saving of €20,000 per claimant

  • Allianz has over 500 suspicious cases awaiting trial dates

  • Allianz estimates that nearly half of all cases it contests are fraudulent

Allianz Ireland continues to take a very strong stance with potentially fraudsters who either have over exaggerated or made spurious claims.

In 2018, Allianz has challenged over 1,500 claimants in the courts. Nearly half (45%) of all claimants’ cases that Allianz contest in court are potentially fraudulent.    Each case that Allianz Ireland has won has delivered an average saving of €20,000 per claimant.

Allianz Ireland currently has 500 cases awaiting trial, which it deemed to be suspicious and is currently pursuing in the courts.

Allianz Ireland was recently successful in defending a number of high profile cases through the Courts where they had identified individuals attempting to commit insurance fraud.

For example – some recent cases that Allianz had contested:

  • In November, Judge Jacqueline Linnane heavily criticised a man who she called “a liar” following Allianz’s successful defence against a €60,000 damages claim for injuries he allegedly suffered in a road traffic accident in 2014.

  • In July - Allianz Insurance recorded a successful defence of whiplash claims by three Lithuanian men which could have cost the company a pay-out of €180,000 in damages and a potential costs and expenses bill of €50,000.

  • A Dublin man and his wife, who stated in a €60,000 personal injury claim had their claim thrown out when Allianz contested the veracity of the claims.

  • A judge ruled against a Dublin housewife who claimed substantial damage caused to her car at traffic lights, as photos showed the damage could not have been caused by a van “brushing” the bumper of her car.

Allianz Ireland has a zero-tolerance approach to insurance fraud and this is backed up by recent further investment in people and technology.

Insurance fraud has grown with 1 in 10 claims in Ireland thought to be spurious or exaggerated. In fact, Insurance Ireland suggests each motor policy is increased by €50 to cover the cost of fraud. With an estimated 1.8 million policies written in Ireland annually that places the annual cost of fraud to the industry at an estimated €90 million.

On an annual basis the Irish courts system deals with high levels of personal injury litigation with 22,417 personal injury cases filed in 2017. The total amounts awarded by the Courts in 2017 reached €205,812,864.

The benchmarking exercise carried out by the Personal Injuries Commission found that the level of compensation in the Republic of Ireland for whiplash injuries is 4.4 times that of our nearest neighbours in England and Wales. One of the Commission’s recommendations is the establishment of a Garda Fraud Investigation Bureau along the lines of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department in the UK. It also recommends that insurers step up their anti-fraud capacity through the recruitment of suitably-trained personnel and the development of various technological means of combating fraud. Insurers are encouraged to provide timely information about suspected fraud to An Garda Síochána so that such cases can be investigated and prosecuted.

The key recommendation of the Commission, which underpins all the others, is that when the Judicial Council is established it should be requested by the Minister for Justice to compile guidelines for the appropriate level of damages for various types of personal injury.

“These court victories against fraudsters are good news for the industry and for the consumer, who has had to bear some of the cost of fraudulent claims,” said Sean McGrath, CEO, Allianz Ireland. “The cost of investigating and mounting a case to challenge fraudulent claims is not cheap but, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial cost. It sends a clear message that Allianz is here to protect our customers and will challenge anyone who sets out to scam or defraud either Allianz or our customers. “

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