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Up to $10,000 reward to report car and travel insurance fraud

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The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has introduced a reward scheme to help stamp out insurance fraud.

The GIA Insurance Fraud Tip-off (Gift) scheme pays individuals up to $10,000 for reporting insurance fraud cases that lead to successful prosecution and conviction of offenders.

The most common insurance fraud cases in Singapore are from the motor, travel and personal accident insurance segments.

Budget Direct Insurance has welcomed the introduction of the scheme and believes it will be a major boost in the fight against insurance fraud.

The GIA Fraud Management System, which employs data analytics and artificial intelligence to spot fraud cases for motor and travel insurance, says it has detected more than 9,000 suspicious claims since its inception in 2017. And statistics show an estimated 20% of motor claims are either fraudulent or inflated, with millions being lost to fraud.

Simon Birch, CEO of Budget Direct Insurance, said that it was ultimately the customer who lost out when it came to insurance fraud. He said: “Insurance companies do lose out but ultimately the costs are borne by motorists and travellers in the form of higher insurance premiums. The general public are the true victims here. If we want insurance to remain affordable then we have to step up the fight against fraud just as we are doing.”

He added: “This is a really positive move from the GIA and we feel that this will go a long way to help stamp out this growing trend once and for all.”

Common cases of motor insurance fraud in Singapore

Motor insurance fraud involves conspiring to make false or exaggerated claims involving property damage or personal injuries following an accident. Some common examples include;

  • Staged accidents where fraudsters deliberately “arrange” for accidents to occur.
  • The use of phantom passengers where people not even at the scene of the accident claim to have suffered grievous injury.
  • Making false personal injury claims where personal injuries are grossly exaggerated.

Motorists are being encouraged to play a more proactive role in tackling this problem together so that insurance in Singapore remains affordable.

Common cases of travel insurance fraud in Singapore

Travel insurance fraud again involves conspiring to make false or exaggerated claims involving loss or theft of personal belongings, including baggage. It also includes fictitious medical treatment. Some go so far as to pass off cosmetic surgery abroad as legitimate medical emergencies in a bid to get money from insurers. The fraudsters may even be in cahoots with a local doctor to create a fraudulent claim for emergency medical cover.

Budget Direct Insurance claims manager, Lincoln Yeo, said: “Most travel insurance claims are not people outright making things up, it is people exaggerating the cost of what they have lost and adding in extra items to their list.”

How do you take part in the GIA insurance Fraud Tip-off (GIFT) scheme?

Members of the public who have been approached to participate in insurance fraud, such as by making false or inflated claims, or have first-hand information and relevant and specific evidence about others carrying out insurance fraud can submit reports online at: General Insurance Association

You should make a report only if you have direct access to inside information about the fraud. Hearsay information such as an overheard conversation from unknown third parties is unlikely to be useful to make out a case.

You are required to provide documentary evidence, such as:

  1. Detailed descriptions of how the fraud was conducted, the parties involved and their roles.
  2. Electronic document trails such as screenshots of email or phone messages.
  3. Digital proof such as photos, voice or video recordings, call logs.
  4. Actual copies or proof of forged or tampered documents that provide evidence of fraud.
  5. Documents showing money transfers for the payments for wrongdoing.
  6. Any other physical/digital evidence that can prove wrongdoing

The better the evidence, the more likelihood of success in making out the case.

Reports are to be submitted online here.

Rules of the reward include:

  • The informant will be paid after the fraudster is prosecuted and convicted.
  • If the claim amount is less than S$10,000, the reward will be equivalent to the fraudulent claim amount.
  • If the claim amount is more than S$10,000, the reward will be capped at S$10,000
  • Informants must be prepared to be interviewed by investigators from the relevant insurers and law enforcement agencies.
  • Informants must be prepared to give evidence in court if needed.
  • The maximum total reward for a group of informants in each case will be S$10,000.

Meanwhile, the fight against fraud has been stepped up further with the recently announced Criminal Law Reform Bill proposing to criminalise dishonest or fraudulent intent to deceive a victim.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good car, motorcycle and travel cover.
Check out Budget Direct Insurance for your best deal

Updates: As of 1 October 2020, the GIA hotline for reporting possible cases of insurance fraud has been deactivated.

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