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.
One in four families dragged into fuel poverty
Research from the Department of Energy and Climate Change has confirmed that one in four families in the UK are now trapped in "fuel poverty" whereby at least 10% of their income is spent on gas and electricity. This figure has risen by 15% since 2007 and now takes in 4 million people although projections for this year suggest the figure could rise to as high as 6.6 million people. This is almost...Read More
BRC asks UK government to increase bank lending
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has today called on the UK government to place more pressure on the UK banking system to increase lending and also backdate the recently announced trade credit insurance scheme. The move comes after a survey released by the BRC confirmed that one third of small and medium-sized businesses and around one fifth of larger retailers have seen their banking facilitie...Read More
ECB chief can't rule out further special monetary measures
The head of the European Central Bank has refused to rule out the introduction of further exceptional monetary measures as the Eurozone heads south towards a severe recession and possible depression. As we have seen in countries such as the UK, the interest rate tool which many have favoured over the years appears to have lost its impact and only substantial investment into the economies of the Eu...Read More
Welsh pension scheme 'exposed to Madoff'
A Welsh pension scheme has admitted exposure to the Bernie Madoff hedge fund scandal.The US fund manager has been arrested by prosecutors over an alleged £33 billion fraud.He is said by them to have run a "Ponzi scheme", paying investors off with other investors' money.Now, the Clwyd Pension scheme, which is paid in to by workers in north Wales, has said that they have lost around £1.9 million i...Read More
UK insurers want exemption from equality laws
The UK government is under pressure from the insurance sector to exempt UK insurers from various areas of the recently introduced equality laws. One of the main aspects which has arisen over the last few days is the availability of motor cover for elderly drivers. It is no secret that many insurers are wary of covering older drivers because of a perceived increase in risk and one in five older dri...Read More