Image via Flickr user Henri Bergius
While motor insurance fraud has traditionally been a huge worry for insurers, companies are seeing an emerging trend – dubious travel insurance claims.
The General Insurance Association (GIA) said the sector is growing fast as more people go overseas and also because of heightened awareness of the need for coverage.
Along with personal accident and health, travel insurance accounted for 21.6 per cent of the total general insurance business last year – up from 19.8 per cent and 18 per cent in 2014 and 2013, respectively.
Although the GIA has not collated figures, it set up a workgroup last year to tackle the relatively new problem.
Its president, Mr A. K. Cher, told The Straits Times: “We have people who are now travelling at the expense of insurance companies.”
“But one of them still somehow had a credit card to pay for their way home,” he said. “When we checked, we found they had all bought travel insurance from eight companies here.”
The GIA is now looking to data analytics to help crack down on such cases. Mr Cher said it is working with French start-up Shift Technology to sieve through data to identify anomalies. Fraud aside, “they will be able to see if we have overpaid for a certain type of claims, for instance”, he added.
Insurers have also hired former investigators from the Commercial Affairs Department to go after cheats.
Gross motor premiums collected stood at $1.14 billion, down from $1.19 billion previously.
The general insurance business on the whole – including fire, work injury and marine cargo and hull – posted an underwriting profit of $325 million, 17 per cent lower than 2014’s $392 million.
An earlier version of the story missed out the word “former” in the sentence “Insurers have also hired former investigators from the Commercial Affairs Department to go after cheats”. We are sorry for the error.
by Christopher Tan
See Full Story at straitstimes.com