More businesses put in false insurance claims in 2020: insurers

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Some 13,000 people were caught trying to defraud their insurers last year, among them a rising number of businesses, insurers association Verbond voor Verzekeraars has said.

In total, the insurers stopped false claims totalling €88m. The number of businesses putting in in false claims increased by nearly 40%, from 125 in 2019 to 172 last year.

‘That may not sound like a lot but there far fewer business policies. The amounts are bigger too so that increases the impact,’ the association’s director Richard Weurding told broadcaster NOS.

The coronavirus crisis may be a contributing factor, Weurding said. He cited the case of a restaurant owner whose turnover plummeted during the crisis and who deliberately set fire to his business. The whole building burnt down, however, and the man was ordered to pay compensation to his landlord and is currently serving a three-year sentence.

More people tried to bamboozle the insurance than in 2019 when some 12,000 cases came to light. However, the total amount for that year, over €96m, was considerably higher.

As in the 2019, car owners put in the most fraudulent claims. Double claims and exaggerating damage were among the most common attempts at getting greater payouts. ‘But the most incidences of fraud take place when people take out insurance,’ Weurding said. ‘They supply false information to wrongfoot the insurer so as to get a lower premium.’

The names of false claimants are registered in a central insurance system and insurers are automatically informed if any of those listed wants to take out an insurance. They are not barred from taking out an insurance but they may be subject to conditions, Weurding said.

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