It’s a crime that costs insurance companies in North America billions of dollars annually, and one that hits home on a personal note by raising individual rates for various insurance policies and coverage. It’s serious enough to warrant the attention of a surveillance-focused investigation.
In Ontario, for example, car insurance fraud costs the industry $1.3 billion a year, and is one of the leading factors in high insurance rates.
“Insurance fraud is the intentional or unintentional act of deceiving an insurance company for financial gain. Committing insurance fraud includes providing false information, falsifying documents, and submitting false insurance claims,” according to ThinkInsure. “Fraud not only impacts the victims of fraud and insurers, it impacts all drivers by increasing car insurance rates. It is illegal in Ontario and all other provinces and territories in Canada.”
Insurance Fraud Is Not Limited to the Car Insurance Business
A major problem for the car insurance business, this type of fraud occurs across a wide range of insurance provision, including life and health claims, accident benefits, property claims, and what is known as ‘premeditated and opportunistic’ insurance fraud. The latter involves inflated claims on a legitimate loss, while the former involves action designed to make a claim for a staged incident or one that never happened.
According to this report, in 2014, the cost of healthcare in Canada hit approximately $215 billion, with an estimated 2 to 10 per cent of that amount being “lost to fraud and abuse–that adds up to as much as $2 billion in 2014 alone.”
To limit losses and deter fraud, insurance companies turn to the services of experts in the surveillance field. These insurance investigators are well trained and regulated. The Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services identifies the purpose of surveillance as being, but not limited to:
- To locate persons by observing the places they frequent or their associates
- To obtain information about someone’s activities or the status of their health
- To locate hidden/stolen property
- To prevent the commission of an act or to apprehend a subject in the commission of an act
- To obtain information prior to conducting an interview
- To obtain evidence for use in court.
Employ the Services of Surveillance Experts When Investigating Insurance Fraud
Key competencies for successful insurance fraud investigation include the deployment of specialized surveillance investigators with a unique blend of skill sets including investigative techniques, document analysis and advanced interviewing skills, the ability to leverage law enforcement resources as needed, the use of strong data analytics, and the practice of intelligence-led surveillance.
“Surveillance is all about the close and detailed observation of a person, place, or thing to gather facts that can be used to build a case,” according to PrivateInvestigatorEDU.org.
The fraud investigators and surveillance experts at Investigative Solutions Network (ISN) are regularly engaged by the insurance industry to investigate all aspects of insurance fraud. The firm deploys a highly trained team of investigators with a level of experience and expertise unparalleled in the private investigation industry.