Zurich calls for improved data checking among brokers

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Brokers have been challenged to help maintain the fight against fraud after a survey by Zurich showed that almost a quarter of ID checks fail because customers’ dates of birth have not been entered correctly.

Zurich personal lines underwriting data for 2014 suggested some brokers are not actively checking important information, which is supported by a survey by the insurer of 161 PL brokers that found 57% rely on customers to update their own driving history.

More than half of brokers surveyed (52%) believe information sharing between themselves and insurers for the prevention and detection of fraud has got better over the last year.

Almost half (45%) have had better support from insurers over that time to improve data accuracy at the application stage, yet 48% think insurers could do more.

Meanwhile, 47% have had better support from insurers, overall, in tackling fraud.

The above data is from Zurich's broker research panel, which was set-up in 2011 and now consists of 257 brokers. The May 2014 omnibus survey generated a response rate of 63%.

Alanda Reynolds, head of personal lines underwriting fraud at Zurich, said: "It's almost a year since Zurich launched its dedicated personal lines application fraud team. This process has been a great opportunity to support customers and brokers by ensuring that an accidental oversight at the quote stage does not lead to a problem at the point of claim.

"Identifying data manipulation is one of the important tools we employ to identify non-disclosure and tackle application fraud. Quality data is a vital part of our protection against the more unscrupulous individuals out there and, equally important, is that it helps us to target those people while protecting honest customers."

Commenting on the need for collaborative working, Reynolds added: "Fraud is clearly not going to go away and so we need to work together to get customer information right from the outset - even the best pricing models will be wrong if they are built on inaccurate data."

Ian McManus, head of personal lines broker at Zurich, said: "While data checking might appear an onerous task, for both broker and consumer, it's imperative in bringing down the cost of insurance for our honest customers. The more we can get right at the outset, the less we have to fix later on."

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