More insurance fraudsters caught, incl. dentist that amputated his own finger

Car crashed into a pole
Car crashed into a polePhoto: tarczas/DepositPhotos

Last year insurers caught 12,879 cases of insurance fraud, compared to 11,540 in 2017, the center for combating insurance crime CBV announced. Many of these cases involved things like falsely reporting a laptop stolen or staging a collision. But some fraudsters go much further, such as a dentist who amputated his own finger to get a disability benefit. "The finger ws removed very carefully. The dentist had not lost it due to an accident as he claimed", a spokesperson for the association of insurers VvV said to NOS. 

The total amount of insurance fraud discovered last year was 82 million euros, compared to 101 million euros in 2017. The majority of fraud was committed with car, household and liability insurance.

If a claim looks suspicious, one of 450 fraud investigators will look into it. Sometimes this is prompted by tips, but recognizing suspicious claims is largely automated, the VvV said to the broadcaster. "If someone submits a claim for damage on the day that the car insurance starts, it will be recognized by an algorithm", the spokesperson said as an example. 

In almost 30 percent of all investigated cases, evidence of fraud is found. But not all fraud is investigated. "It is very difficult to estimate how much fraud is committed in total, but I think we can only see the tip of the iceberg", the VvV spokesperson said. "Many people do not realize that they are the victims of this." Premium payers contribute to every claim paid, including the fraudulent ones. "Converted, it costs everyone dozens of euros in premiums per year."

The fraud investigators make a distinction between 'opportunistic' fraudsters and fraudsters who work in a more organized way. Opportunists are people who in the event of a burglary claim that an expensive TV was also stolen, while this was not the case, for example. "That is very different from organized crime", the VvV said. If there is serious fraud or organized crime, for example if someone staged a robbery, the perpetrator will be placed on a list to warn other insurers that this person commits insurance fraud. If you are on this so-called external referral list, it can be very difficult to find an insurer willing to insure you.