An operating division of global insurer QBE Insurance Group Limited recently published a paper that studied how social media could help insurers combat fraud.
Entitled “Innovations in Using Social Media to Fight Insurance Fraud, Improve Service”
, QBE North America’s paper noted several instances in which social media played key roles in stopping fraud.
According to the paper, some claimants publicly share facts of their lives on social media that contradict the basis of their claims. In one instance, a semi-pro athlete collecting workers’ compensation benefits continued to play without incident in local sports leagues—a fact only revealed through the player’s social media profile.
“Finding new methods to fight fraud helps keep insurance premiums down for everyone,” said QBE North America chief claims officer Dan Franzetti. “Some studies suggest that as much as 10% of all property and casualty claims could have fraudulent elements, and leveraging the power of social media helps us more effectively and precisely identify instances of fraud to drive the cost out of the system.”
The study pointed out that the most recent and best service approaches focus on interconnectivity between online information platforms, which include social media, traditional websites, and public record databases. This allows information shared across the platforms to remain consistent and updated.
As ideal as an interconnected network of online platforms is, monitoring each and every post insureds create is a monumental challenge, but not impossible. According to another study by InfoSys, one billion new social media posts appear every two days. Big analytical tools will be needed to analyze this flood of information.
“There is an increasing array of powerful tools to help make sense of all the data,” QBE North America vice-president of special investigations Brian Wilson remarked. “Text-mining software parses and analyzes unstructured text-based information. Social customer relationship management tools search millions of social media posts and platforms to find activity related to recent claims. Predictive modeling helps spot suspicious activities before fraudulent claims are paid. Social network analysis sifts through large amounts of data to uncover hidden relationships among people, places, locations, accounts or virtually any other type of entity.”
“Lastly, the very best service providers have the ability to actively monitor for changes in the subject’s profile or internet activity, while assuring a high confidence level in the results by removing false positive findings,” Wilson added.
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