Working together to fight insurance crime

By: Donald Makhafola

The South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) Chief Executive Officer, Garth de Klerk has called on the insurance industry to work together in combating organised crime and syndicates and make the difference. De Klerk was speaking in his opening remarks during the two-day SAICB conference held in Midrand.

The purpose of the conference was to share insights, ideas and advice on how to combat organised crime within the insurance industry. He encouraged insurers to use data to identify syndicate and fraudulent activities. He also warned that cyber crime is one of the scariest risks the insurance industry is currently facing.

Discovery Insure Founder and Executive Director, Themba Baloyi also cautioned that the insurance industry cannot ignore the issue of cyber crime. He called on the industry to organise and work together in collaboration with industry bodies like the SAICB to combat crime and fraud in insurance.

“If you want to combat fraud and crime, you need to start being a corporate citizen and continue participating as an active citizen. We need to deal with the issue of crime and other ills we see in our society, in a political and economic front. We need to all take responsibility as corporate citizens.

Baloyi told the delegates that to be a good corporate citizen, you need to first start with being a good citizen. A Citizen has a different way of looking at life but as business people we have to solve problems in a profitable way for us to be sustainable. We cannot solve the ills of the society while the citizens are not involved, we are supposed to be collaborating and not competing with one another.

Arie De Ridder, National Head of Claims for Hollard Commercial and Personal Lines broker market said insurance crime or misrepresentation in claims is related to the economic growth in the country. He said claims frequency has been increasing in the past years as the result of floods and theft. And South Africa’s economy grew just 0.3% last year which represent the weakest pace of growth in the last seven years.

Sharing some of the case studies where the insured were caught submitting fraudulent or misrepresenting claims, Ridder said the client submitted a claim for the latest BMW saying the car was stolen while parked in the garage that was not locked. The insurer asked the client to submit two sets of the keys but he only submitted one set of the key and it was found that the key was a spare and it has not been used in a long time. The insurer rejected the claim on the basis of misrepresentation and the client withdrew the case and submitted it to the Ombudsman. Ridder said the Ombudsman agreed with the insurer because of the discrepancies and misrepresentation of events in the claim.