Insurance fraud is often perceived as being a victimless crime. Making a false claim or the exaggeration of a genuine claim is seen as the proverbial drop in the ocean of the finances of insurance companies. However, the reality is very different. While the majority of claims are genuine, a small minority of people make fraudulent and exaggerated claims. Insurance fraud costs insurance companies in Ireland an estimated €200 million annually, which ends up being paid by honest policyholders.
Fraud is the premeditated commission of a serious criminal offence which merits trial on indictment before a judge and jury in the Criminal Courts, the same Courts in which crimes such as armed robberies, serious assaults and even murders are dealt with. Insurance fraud is a crime, convictions for which may be made under the Civil Liability & Courts Act 2004, and for which offenders face a maximum fine of €100,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison.
Perpetrators of insurance fraud are wide-ranging, from criminal gangs who engage in fraud rings to the individual who exaggerates a claim on their policy to get more money from their insurance company, or misrepresents claims or Policy data, or obtains cover through use of a “ghost broker”. Insurance fraud may also be perpetrated against you as a customer, such as alleging your vehicle was involved in a Road Traffic Accident; utilising your name and/or address to obtain cover or pursue a claim; eliciting of your personal or financial details, or money, from an unknown or unsubstantiated source.
If you have been a victim, or know someone who has been a victim, of a scam you can report this to Insurance Confidential : www.insuranceconfidential.ie
For further information on ghost brokers, see the Central Bank of Ireland’s website : https://centralbank.ie/consumer-hub/explainers/what-are-ghost-brokers
For the Central Bank of Ireland’s online registers, see firstname.lastname@example.org
Insurance Ireland - The Voice of Insurance