One in five motor claims in Singapore fraudulent – GIA

One scam resulted in SG$1.6 million lost

One in five motor claims in Singapore fraudulent – GIA

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

Around 20% of motor claims in Singapore carry elements of fraud, ranging from overstated injury claims to reports of exaggerated vehicle damage, according to figures from the General Insurance Association (GIA) of Singapore.

Sophisticated criminal networks are often behind these deceptive practices, setting up elaborate staged collisions and luring unsuspecting individuals into their web of deceit.

Simon Birch, CEO of Budget Direct Insurance, acknowledged the severity of insurance fraud, highlighting its repercussions for all stakeholders. Insurers are increasingly deploying artificial intelligence to detect and prevent fraudulent activities, but individual alertness in the fight against such scams is still important.

“Insurance fraud is a persistent concern with far-reaching consequences. While insurers use advanced technologies to combat fraud, it is vital for individuals to be vigilant and aware of potential scams to protect themselves. In the end, all motorists are victims of motor insurance fraud as we all end up paying higher premiums as a result,” Birch said.

The ripple effects of insurance fraud are extensive, with honest policyholders facing higher premiums as a result of inflated claim payouts and the additional costs insurers incur in their efforts to counteract fraudulent claims.

Singapore's motor insurance sector was rocked by a monumental fraud case where a workshop owner masterminded a SG$1.6 million scam, undetected for years, that impacted 13 insurers. This case involved the falsification of accidents and the recruitment of individuals to claim for incidents they were never involved in.

Common motor insurance scams in Singapore include:

  • Post-accident, some may offer help, directing victims to certain tow services or repair shops with inflated costs
  • Scammers orchestrate crashes to accuse the innocent party of the fault, often claiming hefty sums for contrived damages and injuries
  • Scammers may have ready witnesses to corroborate their false narrative, suggesting a planned accident

Motorists can adopt several strategies to shield themselves from these ploys:

  • Equip your vehicle with a dashboard camera to capture evidence during an accident, aiding in legitimate claim processes
  • Notify the police and your insurer promptly post-incident to ensure accurate and timely documentation of events
  • Use only your insurer’s recommended workshops to prevent falling prey to fraudulent repair schemes
  • Should you suspect or fall victim to insurance fraud, contact your insurer or the GIA to report the incident.

Elsewhere in the country’s insurance sector, MSIG has taken strides to enhance its personal motor insurance scheme for EVs, fortifying the protection for green vehicles navigating the city’s roads.

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