Crawford-THG, Europe’s largest loss adjusting firm has launched a special investigations division.
With fraud costing the insurance industry an estimated £600m a year, this division is set on busting fraud across all classes of business.
Health insurance is often a target for fraudsters, many of whom are going to increasingly desperate lengths to make bogus claims.
Alan Longhurst, an ex-chief superintendent of the Metropolitan Police has been drafted in to help bust the fraudsters. He cited a number of recent cases which show how policyholders have attempted to defraud health insurers.
One man recently asked a “friend” to remove his index finger with a knife in order to claim on his employer’s insurance. He claimed that his finger had become caught in the fanbelt of his van and even took photographs to prove it. The insurers become suspicious after he made over four claims. The man was prosecuted and received a suspended sentence.
An increasing amount of fraudulent claims are being exposed by various fraud-busting teams, such as the so-called paraplegic suffering from Munchausen’s disease – a psychiatric condition where sufferers fake symptoms to be admitted to hospital.
The fraudster had fitted his house with a stairlift and other equipment to manouvre his `disabled’body around more easily. He made a £250,000 claim following a parachute jump during a career in the paras, when he had broken every bone in his body.
The insurers became suspicious and called in Longhurst and his special investigation squad at Crawford-THG. They placed him under surveillance and caught the suspect on a boating holiday, jumping from bank to bank, having made a miraculous recovery. The claim was not paid.