Property and Casualty insurance fraud is a $34 billion a year problem in the US. Its impact can lead to increased premiums, poor credit, business interruptions and even an increased likelihood of more fraud. Unfortunately, fraud is on the rise as well as growing more complex. While Nationwide is working on preventive technologies and predictive analytics, the information reported from policyholders is one of the best tools we have for quickly identifying fraud.
Recognize potential fraud indicators
Your employees are your first line of defense to help protect your business against fraud, and proper training can help them recognize suspicious activity. They should be educated on both theinternal and external casesof fraud that apply to your industry.
Some typical types of fraud against businesses are slip and falls, foodborne illnesses, foreign objects in food and other products, and related loss of income claims. Here are a few potential fraud indicators to look out for:
- Lack of supporting evidence of foreign object or contaminated substance
- Immediate onset of illness (less than an hour)
- No report or questionable report of incident to employees
- Identity verification issues
- Mechanics of the claim don't make sense
- Area of an alleged slip or fall is not wet, or an existing substance appears to be undisturbed
Helpful tips to act fast
The moments immediately following an incident are the most critical times to pay attention and act. The information that can be collected at the scene of an incident could completely change an investigation. Here are a few ways you can assist your insurer during a claim:
- Recognition. Understanding potential fraud indicators and relaying that information to your claim representative.
- Documentation. Immediately prepare a detailed incident report including names, what happened, and any available evidence (including obtaining any video that may exist).
- Investigation participation. Be available to your claim representative and respond promptly and thoroughly.
At Nationwide, we value our customers’ privacy when they have concerns. As we note in our Stay a step ahead of fraud flyer, we encourage all our policyholders to anonymously report potential fraud by calling 1-800-4-RIPOFF.