Insurance payouts stopped if new psychological tests brand claimants liars

Insurers are looking to reject car insurance and home insurance payouts by analysing claims with psychological techniques designed to catch fraudsters.

The psychology tests were applied to 900 suspect claims supplied by insurance giants AXA, RSA, Aviva and Zurich between August and November last year – with the result that 51% of the home insurance claims and 47% of the car insurance claims were flagged as potential scams.

The insurers refused any payouts on these policies.

Police and legal firms already test the truth of witness statements in criminal cases with Criteria-Based Content Analysis (CBCA).

Now insurance claims handler The Innovation Group is trialling the technique for insurers by funding a £112,000 research programme at the University of Portsmouth.

CBCA is based on two principles: lying is more difficult than telling the truth, and liars are more concerned with the impression they make on others than truth tellers.

Truth detectives claim a 94% success rate

Fraud investigators trained in CBCA techniques allege a 94% success rate in determining fraudulent claims from assessing paperwork.

“The cost of fraud to insurance companies is about £2 billion and adds an average £44 to each home insurance policy,” said Robert Thomson, UK managing director at Innovation Group.

“It is in everyone’s interest to bring that down and clients are looking to service providers such as ourselves for help. Innovation Group is extending its counter-fraud business and making innovative use of investigative psychology in order to meet that demand. As a result, we can offer insurance companies a proven approach which delivers compelling return on investment.”

Experts claim CBCA is more reliable than other techniques for detecting fraudulent claims that involve technical investigations.

The Insurance Blogger notes that other methods trialled by insurance companies include voice stress analysis of taped interviews and telephone calls and handwriting analysis.

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