Norwich Union (NU), soon to be Aviva (A), has taken time out from fawning over remorselessly up-beat POV avatar Happy to jot down a handy list for brokers.

The list in question highlights some of the more or less subtle ploys employed (well, what would you do with a ploy?) by fleet motor fraudsters. “Brokers are a dim-witted bunch and their clients are all out to con them,” an NU spokesman refrained from saying, “so we thought we’d better spell it out ‚ and hopefully get a bit of PR in the process.

The happy people did however point out that in the current economic climate brokers should be “extra vigilant about commercial motor fraud.” “The pressure of the credit crunch brings out extremes in human behaviour,” NU commercial motor technical manager Mike Smith begins racily, before lapsing prosaically into: “and insurance is one area that’s vulnerable to this.

Alright, alright, you sigh wearily, so what’s on the list? Glad you asked. Here it is

Ploy 1: Use of fake NCD proofs.
What to do: If in doubt, check it out!

Ploy 2: Understating number of fleet vehicles.
What to do: check vehicle numbers on unspecified risks against the Motor Insurance Database.

Ploy 3: Misrepresenting driver ages and exposure to hazardous goods (counts as one ploy, apparently).
What to do: “look out for any changes in risk information, which make the risk appear more favourable and query any discrepancies.”

Ploy 4: Fronting.
What to do: “Establish ownership of company vehicles and investigate young drivers. Consider if” (presumably meaning whether) “ part-time’ employees are a possible front being used to cover children who are in full-time education or work elsewhere.”

Ploy 5: Certificate fraud i.e. where the customer cancels the policy or defaults on the premium, but continues using vehicles.
What to do: “Request return of certificate before refunding premium where possible.”

Ploy 6: Suspect theft and fire claims (especially “among” luxury cars) where customers can no longer fund finance arrangements. What to do: investigate suspect claims thoroughly.

So basically, they’re saying trust no-one, check everything.

That is, of course, until Happy breezes in, provoking bewildered admiration all round by announcing: “What the hell, why quibble, pay everything!”


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