VFM Services warns of fraudulent claims ahead of the festive season

VFM Services, the pioneers of conversation management, warns insurers to be vigilant over the next couple of months, as fraudulent claims are expected to rise significantly over the festive season.

Historical data from the firm reveals that in the last quarter of 2011, the number of claims nil-settled, where the claim was either repudiated or the customer walked away after being challenged by VFM’s conversation management process, rose compared to the three previous months that year. The data also revealed claims for iPhones, jewellery, laptops and TVs were at their highest during the last quarter of 2011.

Of all the claims received by VFM during this period, over four in ten (43%) iPhone claims, a quarter (22%) of jewellery claims and over four in ten (44%) of laptops and TVs were not settled, saving the insurance industry almost £900,000  in three months alone.

Steve Jackson, Director at VFM comments: “The run up to Christmas is one of our busiest times of the year, and we’re already witnessing the same pattern emerging this year.  We know that there are people who think they can claim on their household insurance to try and get a new TV in time for Christmas, or perhaps some new jewellery for a present. It’s a seasonal pattern you can set your watch by in our experience.”

VFM experts believe that the figure will be the same, if not higher this year, and warn insurers not to ignore the issue of fraud, particularly claims for alleged accidental damage to electrical goods, as these VFM believe, contain the highest risk of fraud of all household claims.

“Our experience shows us that claimants think insurers won’t notice the odd TV or lost laptop going through the system when the industry is seeing high volumes of claims around this time of year. Insurers should ensure their fraud controls aren’t affected when managing high-volume claims brought about by Christmas or adverse winter weather conditions for example. Outsourcing, even on a temporary basis, should be considered as an alternative, as the potential savings could far outweigh the initial outlay cost associated with this. However outsourcing to the right supplier is also key here, as referring high-volume claims for example, to an electrical goods supplier to simply repair or replace items without the right customer focused led fraud deterrents in place could prove counter-productive.Opportunist fraudsters need to know that insurers never take their eyes off the ball, and so claimants shouldn’t even chance a dishonest claim.”

VFM Services works with major insurers across a range of market sectors to help them manage fraudulent insurance claims whilst treating customers fairly and guiding the genuine customer through the process.

The pioneers of Conversation Management, VFM’s innovative desktop screening technique delivers a highly effective counter fraud solution for both opportunistic and professional fraud, eliminating the need for lengthy field investigation, reducing claims lifecycle and lowering claims cost.

In addition, VFM offers a wide portfolio of tailored services including outsourced claims management, conversation management and ACF Tech accredited training.

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