There are many cases in which people are entitled to be compensated for their injuries, medical bills, or pain and suffering following accidents. However, there are also a number people who are taking advantage of the system. This ‘compo culture’, as it’s known, is now causing some to fear becoming the target of a fraudulent insurance claim.
We commissioned Red C Research to conduct a study in October, 2019 with 1,007 men and women of all ages across Ireland, asking a variety of questions about their awareness of and attitudes towards personal injury claims for compensation.
What is Insurance Fraud?
Personal injury claims are a popular topic in the media when discussing fraud. In fact, 75% Irish people believe there are too many personal injury claims awarded compensation in recent years. Almost half (49%) of those who participated in the study now make sure to keep their walkways clear and free of obstructions to help avoid facing personal injury claims.
However, there is more to insurance fraud than personal injury claims. Any claim made with false information is considered insurance fraud – and a crime. This false information can be an exaggerated value of goods lost or damaged, exaggerated injuries sustained, or completely fabricated information.
When asked what claims they would consider making, one in twenty (5%) admitted that they would be tempted to overstate or exaggerate a claim. This is even with 85% of respondents acknowledging their awareness that exaggerating an insurance claim is fraudulent.
Fear of Being a Victim of Insurance Fraud
Unfortunately, honest people suffer at the hands of fraudulent claims. As a result of current claim culture, over half (52%) of Irish people are worried about being a victim of insurance fraud. Following an accident, one third (33%) would suspect the other party of overstating their claim.
Individuals are not the only targets of insurance fraud; businesses are also often targeted. Sadly, a 83% of people reported to have never personally heard of a business successfully defending themselves against a fraudulent personal injury claim.
Who is to Blame for Fraudulent Claims?
But who do the Irish public believe is to blame for this claim culture?
- 80% believe those making the false or exaggerated claims are at fault
- 51% blame the legal sector
- Less than half (43%) cited the insurance sector as a cause
74% believe that those filing exaggerated or fraudulent claims are taking advantage of the current system. However, as many claims are honest, over two thirds (69%) of respondents believe that victims of personal injury are entitled to compensation, but that the amount awarded or settled, is usually too high.
How to Confidentially Report Suspected Insurance Fraud
Although respondents showed wariness over potentially becoming the victim of insurance fraud, almost two thirds (62%) claimed that they do not know how to properly report a suspected case of insurance fraud. Previous research commissioned by Allianz also points to hesitation to report for fear of being identified.
To confidentially report suspected insurance fraud, you can contact Insurance Confidential on either 1890 333 333 or visit http://www.insuranceconfidential.ie and follow the instructions.
Allianz Ireland has a zero-tolerance approach to insurance fraud. However, community involvement is also important in combatting insurance fraud. If you suspect someone of making a fraudulent claim, speak out so that the claim can be investigated.