Press release -
Organised crime and cavity wall insulation claims among 2020 insurance fraud trends
Allianz Insurance detected a record £65.8m worth of insurance fraud in 2020, as it took on claims farmers, rogue loss assessors and organised crime. The fraud savings were higher than the previous year, exceeding Allianz’s target by £2.9m.
Allianz saw a 6.5% rise in property fraud detection in 2020. Large loss claims accounted for £1.3m of savings, as a result of Allianz’s new large loss team adopting a ‘Know Your Opponent’ strategy focused on rogue loss assessors. A significant volume of fraud was linked to cavity wall insulation claims, with the fraud team detecting £2.6m worth of exaggerated and false claims. This is a trend which continues to pose a challenge to the industry due to the prevalence of claims farming.
Allianz’s organised fraud team tackled over £5.5m worth of fraud committed by organised crime operations, resulting in 10 operations being opened and three closed in 2020. The successful conclusion of Operation Overwatch saw eight claims repudiated, resulting in fraud savings of £115,000; furthermore the claimants’ solicitor was referred to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for their involvement.
The casualty fraud detected in 2020 increased by more than £2m compared to 2019. Motor fraud remains prevalent and in 2020 Allianz pursued its first private prosecution case. A man who had claimed £4,000 for personal injury – but was not in the vehicle at the time of the incident – received an immediate 12-month prison sentence with no suspension, in a landmark win for Allianz.
Examples of more unusual fraud cases include:
- A claimant alleged that a colleague stabbed her in the hand with a pen. She enlisted her daughter to lie in court and produced photos of her wound. However, documents visible in the images were dated months after the alleged attack, suggesting the wound was self-inflicted and the claim was staged.
- A driver faked the theft and destruction of his own car, but his claim was debunked when forensics discovered his own blood on the steering wheel.
- A pedestrian claimed for personal injury after tripping on a hosepipe, although CCTV footage showed him walking and staring at his phone before and after the obstacle.
James Burge, head of counter fraud said:
“I am delighted that we reached such a significant amount in fraud detections and savings in 2020. We’ve taken proactive steps to improved collaboration over the past 12 months and these results demonstrate they are working. I’m very proud of our expert fraud teams – and everyone who plays a part in tackling fraud.
“During 2021, fraud detection and prevention will remain a key priority for Allianz and our plan is to continue to build on the collaborative approach we’ve put in place, which is clearly achieving excellent results.”
About Allianz Holdings plc
Allianz Holdings plc is the non-regulated holding company which owns the principal insurance operations of Allianz SE in Great Britain.
The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 100 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 790 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.7 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are amongst the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2020, over 150,000 employees achieved total revenues of 140 billion euros and an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros for the group.
These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.
*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements
This document includes forward-looking statements, such as prospects or expectations, that are based on management's current views and assumptions and subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance figures, or events may differ significantly from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Deviations may arise due to changes in factors including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the general economic and competitive situation in the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) the performance of financial markets (in particular market volatility, liquidity, and credit events), (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, including those resulting from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates, most notably the EUR/USD exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions including and related integration issues and reorganization measures, and (xi) the general competitive conditions that, in each individual case, apply at a local, regional, national, and/or global level. Many of these changes can be exacerbated by terrorist activities.
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