Motor Claims 2010: Police chiefs seek help from insurers on fraud

Andy MacKay

Insurer capital and information could prove vital in the fight against fraud, according to detective chief inspector Andy MacKay of the Association of Chief Police Officers' Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.

DCI MacKay's call for action echoes that of DCI Mark Hooper, who in September last year pleaded for insurer aid in fighting fraud and theft, which costs insurers £360m per year (www.postonline.co.uk/1532936).

DCI MacKay revealed AVCIS plans to approach the insurance industry to provide funding for its initiatives, including Semita — an operation to switch on dormant car tracking devices.

"The AVCIS is keen to work with insurers to recover stolen motor vehicles. You will get more vehicles returned to you. We hope that, with support from your industry, we will be able to increase operations. We are confident that any contribution will see investment outweighed by returns," he told delegates.

The AVCIS recovered 481 vehicles in 2007 with a value of £7.5m — an "eight times return on investment", according to DCI MacKay.

He said the Tracker system has led to considerable savings for insurers but added: "We will try to get Tracker to lower its value, which will make it more appealing for insurers to come on board in this operation," he added.

DCI MacKay stressed the AVCIS wants to develop a close working relationship with the industry: "We are keen to work with insurers to look at prosecuting suspected fraudsters for suspicious claims. We can do that via a formalised information sharing protocol."

He also said the UK insurance industry's communication with police is insufficient, and has contributed to cases being lost in the system. He warned: "This is a missed opportunity, and generates confidence in the public to perpetrate fraud, as it is highly unlikely a prosecution will follow."

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