Mo­tor in­sur­ance scams ris­ing de­spite crack­down

The New Paper - - NEWS - TAN TAM MEI

It looked like a quick buck — let her car be used in a fake ac­ci­dent and sub­mit dodgy med­i­cal claims, but it soon went sour and left Belle (not her real name) on the hook as part of a mo­tor in­sur­ance scam.

She was jailed for 10 months for cheating and giv­ing false in­for­ma­tion, and the nurse in her 40s lost her job of 20 years.

Such scams are rife de­spite the po­lice’s Com­mer­cial Af­fairs Depart­ment (CAD) tak­ing a hard-line ap­proach.

Ac­cord­ing to one es­ti­mate, 20 per cent of all mo­tor in­sur­ance claims are dodgy.There were 26 re­ports of such cases lodged in the first nine months this year com­pared with just 13 for the whole of last year.

Most re­ported cases are linked to large-scale syn­di­cates, said Su­per­in­ten­dent (Supt) Ab­dul Rani Ab­dul Sani, head of the CAD’s In­sur­ance and Spe­cialised Fraud Branch.

They tend to be re­ported by in­sur­ers or dis­cov­ered in the course of re­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tions, he added.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions in­volve CAD of­fi­cers un­cov­er­ing lay­ers of op­er­a­tions, at times in­volv­ing over 100 peo­ple who play roles such as re­cruiters, stunt driv­ers and phan­tom pas­sen­gers.

These syn­di­cates usu­ally re­cruit by word of mouth or through chance en­coun­ters, said Deputy Supt Johnny Sim, of­fi­cer-in-charge of the team.

The team has taken down at least five ma­jor syn­di­cates over the past five to six years.

Ef­forts by the CAD and in­sur­ers to clamp down on mo­tor in­sur­ance fraud has also led to in­creased pros­e­cu­tions, with 66 last year, up from 60 in 2015 and 48 in 2014.

Fraud re­mains preva­lent and re­sults in in­sur­ers hav­ing to bear losses which af­fect mo­torists through higher pre­mi­ums, said Gen­eral In­sur­ance As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Ho Kai Weng.

tam­mei@sph.com.sg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.