Fraud costs insurers '£4m a day'
Insurance fraud costs UK insurers some £4 million a day, new research has indicated.A survey by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) found that one in ten adults had admitted to filing a fraudulent insurance claim.The trade body said that their dishonesty was adding an average of almost £40 to the annual premiums of other policyholders and costing the industry £1.6 billion a year.Policyholders were most likely to lie about insurance claims related to their properties, the ABI survey of almost 7,000 people found.About half the total cost of dishonest claims each year relate to home contents and building insurance, the association confirmed.Meanwhile opportunistic fraud, where a claimant increases the true price of an item that has been damaged, is estimated to cost insurers more than £800 million annually.Commenting on the research, ABI's director of general insurance and health, Nick Starling, said: "Honest customers should not have to pay for the cheats."These figures highlight that greater deterrents, such as criminal prosecutions, are needed to discourage fraud. This is why we are calling for police forces to be given more resources so that fraud can be treated with the seriousness it deserves," he added, stressing that the recently established Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was already having a "significant impact" on tackling organised insurance fraud.The IFB, launched by the insurance industry in July 2006, welcomed the government's response to the Fraud Review in March, but warned that greater police resources were needed on a national scale to maximise its own impact through a collaboration with law enforcement authorities.
Spanish government looks to reduce budget deficit
The Spanish government is today in talks with unions in relation to a number of proposed changes to taxation and labour regulations in the country. Last week the government announced a 5% reduction in public sector pay as the challenge of reducing the country's soaring budget deficit continues. While there are concerns that we could see an increase in union unrest within the country, in many ways...Read More
Mortgage applications rise despite mortgage lenders slow reaction to rate cut
The initial indications from the mortgage market are that there has been an increase in mortgage applications since the 1.5% reduction in UK base rates. This is a very interesting development because the banks have yet to pass on the full benefit of recent base rate reductions to the UK consumer. Initially they had questioned the quality of mortgages in the short to medium term bearing in mind the...Read More
Retail sales up but where is the money coming from?
As UK retail sales improved again in July, after a particularly strong June, there is optimism on the high street but mystery as to where UK consumers are getting their money from. At a time when the property market is yet to fully recover, unemployment is set to smash through the 3 million barrier and the cost of living is still significantly higher than 12 months ago, how are UK consumers fundin...Read More
Barratt Developments reports £592.4 million loss
Barratt Developments has today announced a £592.4 million loss for 2008 compared with a profit of approaching £200 million for the previous year. While the massive loss includes a £494 million write-down on the company's land bank it is within the scope of analyst forecasts and while initially the figures look disappointing they may not be as bad as first thought.
The company has...
Petrol Price Falls Are Not Mirroring The Fall In the Oil Price
The AA is calling for a more transparent system to ensure that the price of petrol is publically linked to the price of oil. The call comes as the 'collapse' in the oil price to $118 is not being reflected in the price of petrol, even after recent falls. So what can the authorities do about this?
While it is easy to say that the price of petrol should closely reflect the price of...