Fraud Occurs Because People Think
They Can Get Away With It
The majority of Americans say insurance fraud occurs because people
believe they can get away with it, according to results of a survey
released by Accenture.
The survey, based on a random sample of more than 1,000 U.S. adults,
is Accenture's second annual survey examining consumer attitudes toward
insurance fraud; results of the first survey were released in February
In this year's survey, 56 percent of respondents said they believe
insurance fraud occurs because people believe they can get away with
it, up from 49 percent in last year's survey. Nearly one-third (32
percent) said they believe that people who commit insurance fraud
do so because they believe they pay too much for insurance, and 24
percent said people commit insurance fraud to make up for their deductibles.
In addition, nearly one-half (45 percent) of the respondents who knew
someone who submitted a claim for an amount higher than their actual
loss said that a third party, such as a doctor, auto body shop or
insurance appraiser, was involved in the insurance fraud.
"The findings of this year's survey indicate that the insurance
industry is still increasingly vulnerable to fraud," said Michael
A. Lucarini, a partner in Accenture's Insurance practice. "Insurance
companies need to better equip themselves with integrated tools and
technologies that help prevent and combat fraud. Leading insurers
are implementing Web-based technology that can help re-evaluate claims
for fraud detection throughout the claim and alert the appropriate
people when thresholds are exceeded or certain parties are involved."
Among the survey's other findings:
• About one-half (49 percent) of respondents said they believe
that people are discouraged from committing fraud as a result of the
increase in conviction rates, severe punishments and media coverage
of high-profile corporate scandals.
• Almost all of the respondents (95 percent) said it is important
for insurance companies to investigate potentially fraudulent claims;
the primary reason given was to control premium expenses, selected
by 63 percent of respondents.
• More than one-half (56%) of respondents agree that as the
economy picks up people are less likely to commit insurance fraud
than they would during an economic downturn.
Survey Methodology TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres) Express Omnibus, on
behalf of Accenture, conducted telephone interviews with 1,000 U.S.
adults (at least 18 years of age) in April 2004 to ascertain their
views about insurance fraud. Of the respondents, 189 indicated that
they had filed a property or casualty insurance claim.
© CONTACTO Magazine
Published on May 29, 2004
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