Has a friend boasted about an insurance claim paid to him for something he reported stolen – which was in fact not stolen? Or has someone told you to claim for something of “higher value” than what you have actually lost.
This has happened to me – but I am proud to say I simply cannot live with telling a lie in a claim form. Some however will not think twice and believe that their insurance payments are similar to the money deposited in a bank account from where they are entitled to make withdrawals as and when they see fit!
Insurance fraud and insurance premium increases
Insurance fraud is one of the major contributing to escalating insurance premiums – and something which we need to address if we would like to keep insurance premiums at affordable levels. Those who are submitting fraudulent claims are stealing not only from the insurance company – but from you and me!!
The South African Insurance Crime Bureau is leading the way in combating insurance fraud. We would like to provide more information on one of the initiatives to prevent insurance fraud:
Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous is proud to be associated with the South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) for the past 10 years – the last two years under the auspices of the SAICB and the previous 8 years through the SAIA, aiding them in their fight against fraud and crime in the South African insurance industry. Assisting companies in fighting fraud and crime is our core business and therefore our alignment with the SAICB is allowing us to achieve our core objective as well as ensuring that as a team we continue to make a positive difference in our country.
One of the serious current issues facing businesses today is occupational fraud. This was also confirmed by a recent global fraud survey- which included South Africa and other African countries – conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners where they stated that a typical organization loses 5% of its annual revenue to fraud.
The media is filled with news and reports of scams, fraud and inappropriate behaviour within organisations. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Unreported or undetected fraud is the real threat, like the 90% of an iceberg which lies below the surface, invisible and dangerous. Discerning captains of commerce and industry throughout the world are fully aware that even the best organisations are not unsinkable as they navigate their course through icy seas where there are many icebergs. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re the captain or the most junior crew member – hitting an iceberg could mean disaster for everyone.
According to Nicholas John, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous, statistics indicate that commercial crime reported had increased by nearly 30 percent since October 2009. John pointed out that people across the board were ―living on the edge‖ as a result of the recent economic downturn that began to impact South Africa towards the latter part of 2009, so vigilance especially now was critical.
Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous facilitates the insurance fraud and crime hotline service for the SAICB, which is a powerful, low-cost, 365-day a year, 24-hour fraud and crime-reporting subscriber service in a number of languages, which allows the general public and stakeholders of member company, government departments or state-owned enterprises to report incidents of fraud and crime in an anonymous and confidential manner.
The service provides an independent third-party toll-free telephone, fax, email, website and freepost address which enables the general public and stakeholders to report unethical, criminal or other inappropriate behaviour in their organisation or observed/experience about other organisation/s or people. A report is then forwarded to the subscriber for action, in this instance the SAICB.
The Fraudline has been an integral part of the SAICB’s service to the industry and to date, reports from the Fraudline has resulted in two cases being investigated by the SAICB and valuable information on possible fraudulent activities by individuals sent to the industry to review.
Recent economic trends in SA show that as GDP growth decreases, commercial crime in-creases. This indicates that there is very little money to put towards the economy which leads to consumers in debit and under stress to consider committing fraud and crime in greater numbers. In the current economic situation this trend is bearing out and the vigilance of the public and affected organisations is vital in turning the tide.
The present and future partnership between Deloitte Tip-offs Anonymous and the SAICB is an essential cog in the fight against insurance fraud and crime in the country.
[Information from the South African Insurance Crime Bureau]