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iPhone release: Insurers on Lookout for Fraudulent Claims

media release

26 September 2014

Insurers on the Lookout for Fraudulent Claims following iPhone 6 Release

Insurers are expecting a surge in fraudulent phone claims on the back of the new iPhone launch in New Zealand today.

According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), with the release of new technology usually comes a spike in insurance claims for outgoing models reportedly stolen or accidentally damaged.

“New Zealand insurers are anticipating up to a 25% increase in phone-related claims in the coming weeks, following the release of the iPhone 6 today,” says Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton.

“As a result, insurers will be on the lookout for fraudulent claims because history tells us that when a new sought-after technology is released, a few owners are looking to fund their upgrade by making a fraudulent claim,” he says.

“While we don’t know exactly how many claims will be fraudulent, we’re keen to inform the public that insurers pay special attention to these type of claims at such times. The vast majority of policy holders are honest but a small number of dishonest claimants push up the cost of insurance for all of us,” says Mr Grafton.

Through a central database called the Insurance Claims Register (ICR), insurance companies are able to check the accuracy of the data submitted with policy applications and claims.

ICR Manager Dave Ashton says the database houses the records of 6 million claims across many insurance companies and this helps insurers to detect and prevent fraudulent claims, particularly purposeful non-disclosure and double dipping at claim time.

“Insurance companies can access the claims history of a client, when underwriting new business and processing claims, for the specific purpose of checking for fraud,” says Mr Ashton.

“Making a false claim is fraud and we have a number of methods and technologies to highlight cases where it may be considered a false claim and insurers are increasingly keen to make sure these are investigated,” he says.

Recent improvements and capabilities using the ICR, with powerful analytical software, enables insurers to discover patterns and trends in claims history that were previously harder to spot.

Mr Grafton says: “Conservatively insurance fraud is estimated to cost honest Kiwi policyholders $200 million per year, so people should know that it is not a victimless crime, it’s the crime everyone pays for.”


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