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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
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insurance fraud

Aviva says 'suspicious' personal injury claims are being withdrawn on the steps of court

New internal analysis by Aviva said fraudulent claims are a “huge cost to insurers, motorists, and society”.

OVER 90 INDIVIDUALS who initiated legal proceedings with Aviva, seeking compensation for a personal injury claims, withdrew their cases in the last two years according to the insurance company.

New internal analysis by Aviva Insurance Ireland found a trend of some personal injury claims being withdrawn “before on or on the steps of court” which the company claim is a “huge cost to insurers, motorists, and society”.

The company has undertaken an analysis of some 800 claims over the past two years which it suspected of being fraudulent or exaggerated. 

The insurance company identified that 91 claims were withdrawn before court proceedings in the years 2021 and 2022.

Senior Fraud Manager in Aviva Rob Smyth said: “The emergence of this trend is further evidence that there continues to be a cohort of individuals who are willing to fake accidents and personal injuries in the hope of receiving a generous pay-out from the courts.

“Unfortunately, these claims continue to be a major cost to the insurance industry, to our customers, and to society at large,” Smyth added.

Smyth also said today that Aviva “had a further 70 suspected fraudulent claims that were dismissed by the courts. Defending these cases cost the company in the region of €2 million.” 

The company said that the investment by Aviva and other insurance companies to investigate and dispute these claims is having “some positive impact” due to the trend highlighted by their analysis today.

The Alliance for Insurance Reform called on the government last year to do more to tackle the premiums as new guidelines, introduced in 2021, made awards for personal injuries fall by 40%.

The Alliance said the reforms were “clearly not having an impact” on the liability premiums paid by businesses, voluntary and community groups and charities.

It surveyed those 954 of those organisations and found that 42% of organisations say that insurance premiums were threatening their future and 90% told them the Government was not doing enough to address the issue of insurance costs.

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) found that personal injuries were €118 million lower in 2021, compared to 2019, when the guidelines were introduced.

The new guidelines outlined a range of possible amounts of compensation for personal injuries of which the courts and the PIAB must consider in all cases.

However according to the 2023 mid-year Private Motor Insurance Report from the Central Bank, the average earned premium per policy decreased by 5%. The report also found that premiums have fallen by 18% since 2018, as of the first half of 2022.

Last year, the annual report found premiums fell by 17% between 2017 and 2021

Smyth said insurance fraud remains a “burden on our customers and on society” and that the company is will continue to investigate claims they suspect are fraudulent.

“We have an experienced team of in-house investigators and have invested in fraud analytics, along with the latest automated fraud detection technology,” Smyth added.

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