Zurich UK prevent £4.2m in insurance fraud during cost of living crisis

Zurich UK issues warning after 25% increase in fraudulent property claims from 1st January to 31st May this year compared to the same period in 2021.

Related topics:  insurance fraud,  claims
Tabitha Lambie | Editorial assistant, Barcadia Media
21st July 2022
insurance paper files
"Turning to crime is never the answer."
- DCI Tom Hill, from the City of London police’s insurance fraud enforcement department

During these five months, Zurich UK claims they prevented £4.2m in insurance fraud – equal to £40,000 each working day - which is a £1.1m increase since 2021.

The UK insurance firm claims the cost of living crisis has fuelled this increase in insurance fraud, with a growing number of households “turning to crime” as bills for food, energy, and fuel soar.

Expensive jewellery, TVs and mobile phones are amongst the most common items fraudulently claimed to have been lost, stolen, or damaged.

During the five months, the insurer prevented fraud totaling £4.2m – up from £3.3m in 2021. Zurich said this equated to about £40,000 each working day.

Zurich UK highlighted one case involving a stolen bike claim from a cyclist. The claimant aroused suspicion since the claim was made minutes after buying a policy. The claim was later declared fraudulent after mobile phone footage showed the alleged thief leaving with the bike forty-five minutes before the cover was taken out.

In another incident cited by the UK insurer, a DIY enthusiast attempted a £3,000 claim for the theft of tools. When asked to provide photos of the items, the claimant shared a photo with the date clearly visible. The date was prior to when the theft allegedly took place. The claimant all claimed bikes worth £2,000 had been stolen from his garden. The police later discovered them in his shed.

DCI Tom Hill, from the City of London police’s insurance fraud enforcement department, has said:

“We understand that the rising cost of living has made the past few months particularly hard for many people across the country – but turning to crime is never the answer.

“Exaggerating or fabricating a claim for a pricey watch or television may seem like a quick way to make money, but a conviction will have a lasting impact on your life.”

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