Fraud and COVID-19: considering the impact of COVID-19 on insurance claims

Studies have shown fraud offences and reports of fraud increase in times of economic recession. We have seen already the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, including here in the UK where the ONS reported a drop in national GDP of 20.4% in April alone. The economic impact is being mitigated by Government policy, but it is feared that the financial impact of the pandemic will eventually be felt by businesses and in job losses and other hardships.

Many commentators from across the insurance sector fear that this will result in an increase of fraudulent claims. The IFB Stop the Scams campaign highlights the prospect of fraudsters exploiting the pandemic for financial gain.

Our paper explores the potential for fraud in claims; both claims for or arising from COVID-19 and its impact on traditional claims. We look at the drivers of fraudulent behaviour as well as how these frauds may arise and thrive, from the claims themselves to the operational disruption that may allow fraud to get through.

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