Dead cat insurance claim was the purrr…fect crime


A trainee teacher thought they had committed the perfect crime when making a fraudulent claim over her dead cat.

The student, 20, asked for a £375 pay out just days after setting up pet insurance.

The claim set off a fraud alert with the insurers who passed the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

The team sent two detectives to see the student at her digs in Plymouth. She admitted her cat had died, so she took out the policy and made the claim a few days later so she could buy a new kitten.

The detectives decided to caution her for fraud. This counts as a single detected crime in Home Office figures.

Now, the Insurance Blogger does not condone any form of criminality, but if insurance fraud investigation was run as a business, the managers would need to weigh the cost of the inquiry against the money saved.

The detectives travelling from London to Plymouth probably had an overnight stay unless they flew. Either way, the cost of investigating the claim surely far exceeded £375.

But that doesn’t matter to IFED. The team is funded by the insurance industry to the tune of £3 billion a year – and that money comes from everyone that pays an insurance premium.

Surely IFED should concentrate on the big hitters in the world of insurance fraud?

Take a new car insurance scam revealed by the BBC that costs £60 million a year in fraudulent claims.

Criminal gangs set up bogus claims management and hire companies to provide replacement cars  after road accidents – then they bill insurers for cars that were never hired out.

In one case, a gang told an insurer they had supplied a customer with a Maserati when the driver was given a VW Golf.

A gang falsely hiring a number of cars is counted as a ‘continuing crime’ in Home Office figures – which like the dead cat, is a single detected crime.

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