Insurance fraud should result in harsher penalties, Liberty survey finds

Survey by Liberty Insurance finds half of Irish drivers fearful of reporting fraud

Research shows that 8 per cent of drivers know somebody who has submitted a fraudulent insurance claim. Photograph: iStock

Research shows that 8 per cent of drivers know somebody who has submitted a fraudulent insurance claim. Photograph: iStock

 

Almost 90 per cent of Irish drivers believe those who submit fraudulent insurance claims should face harsher penalties, a survey commissioned by Liberty Insurance has found.

The research, conducted by Red C Research, shows that some 8 per cent of drivers know somebody who has submitted a fraudulent insurance claim, while almost half of drivers wouldn’t report insurance fraud for fear of being found out.

The survey also demonstrates discrepancies in terms of what young drivers deem to be fraudulent versus the attitudes of older drivers.

For example, the survey reported that 31 per cent of young drivers consider bring untruthful about the primary driver of their car to be “mild” insurance fraud, or not fraud at all. That figure drops to 19 per cent of all adult drivers.

‘Serious problem’

“Ultimately, intentionally misleading your insurer about your driving record, your vehicle and other details on a policy application is a form of fraud, [which] is a very serious problem for our industry and impacts significantly on cost. It is not a victimless crime and affects the premiums that our customers pay,” said Sharon O’Brien, chief executive of Liberty Insurance.

“Most Irish people recognise this and want to see these people face harsher penalties. The rapid rise of premiums in Ireland is of course not sustainable.”

Young drivers also consider untruths surrounding a person’s profession, and providing a false estimate of annual mileage to be mild fraud.

The Red C survey was carried out among 750 car insurance owners aged over 17.