According to Finance Finland, insurance fraud covers a broad spectrum of activities. Scammers may stage damage, purposefully sustain injuries or even exaggerate them. Insurance claims investigators have uncovered nearly $34mn in shady accident insurance claims paid out in 2017. While some of the claims were fraudulent, others were either reduced or not paid out at all.
Due to the pooled risk principle of insurance coverage, honest customers are the ones who end up footing the bill for persons who dishonestly try to cash in on insurance policies.
Recent analysis found that suspicious damage claims from 2017 had an estimated value of $97mn, some $34mn (roughly 30 – 40 percent) of which were determined to be fraudulent.
The majority of insurance fraud cases perpetrated in 2017 involved alleged damage to vehicles such as cars, motorcycles and boats. In terms of dodgy personal injury claims, the biggest payouts had to do with fabricated compensation claims. In such cases, policyholders claimed they had suffered an injury that rendered them unfit for work, for example.
Cases where policyholders staged the theft of phones and sunglasses or exaggerated the value of stolen luggage accounted for a lower level of unwarranted payouts overall. Altogether some 35 claims investigators and five assistants work in Finnish insurance companies and cooperate with law enforcement authorities. Last year 115 requests for criminal investigations relating to suspected insurance fraud were filed with police.