Monday 21 January 2019

Allianz challenges over 1,500 insurance claimants in court last year

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Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Allianz Ireland last year challenged over 1,500 insurance claimants in court.

The insurance group said nearly half (45pc) of the claimants’ cases it contests in court are "potentially" fraudulent.

Up to July 31st last year it has challenged over 100 suspicious cases through the courts, making an average saving of €20,000 per claimant.

The group currently has 500 cases awaiting trial, which it deemed to be suspicious and is currently pursuing in the courts. 

Figures from Insurance Ireland suggest that each motor policy is increased by €50 to cover the cost of fraud.

With an estimated 1.8 million policies written in Ireland annually, that places the annual cost of fraud to the industry at an estimated €90m.

Sean McGrath, CEO of Allianz Ireland, said the victories are good news for both the industry and the consumer, who has had to bear some of the cost of fraudulent claims.

"The cost of investigating and mounting a case to challenge fraudulent claims is not cheap but, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial cost," Mr McGrath added.

Meanwhile 22,417 personal injury cases were filed in 2017 in Ireland. The total amounts awarded by the courts in respect of these cases in 2017 reached €206m.

The benchmarking exercise carried out by the Personal Injuries Commission found the level of compensation in the Republic of Ireland for whiplash injuries is 4.4 times that of England and Wales.

One of the Commission’s recommendations is the establishment of a Garda Fraud Investigation Bureau.

It also recommends that insurers step up their anti-fraud capacity through the recruitment of suitably-trained personnel and the development of various technological means of combating fraud.

Insurers are encouraged to provide timely information about suspected fraud to the Gardaí.

The key recommendation of the Commission is that when the Judicial Council is established it should be requested by the Minister for Justice to compile guidelines for the appropriate level of damages for various types of personal injury.

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