The Coalition Government’s ongoing efforts to privatise key public services received a boost this week with the announcement that insurers have offered to fund a £9m police anti-fraud unit based in the City of London.
With the government determined to cut inessential services, this new ABI-sponsored initiative will keep 35 anti-fraud officers doing what they do best for the next three years at a cost of £2.9m a year.
They will work hand in hand with all their former colleagues who are now (directly) on the payrolls of Britain’s fraud-ravaged major insurers, who reckon around 5% of the claims they receive are now non-legit.
The ABI has long harboured concerns over police under-resourcing in the area of fraud. In its submission to the Fraud Review back in 2006, it noted that “criminal gangs with links to drugs and prostitution commit insurance fraud to fund their activities.”
Without wishing to impugn the legitimacy of such concerns, Bankstone News can’t help suspecting that if you need to subsidise your pimping and pushing activities with cash-for-crash income, you’re probably not doing it right.
The ABI has also suggested links between insurance fraud and terrorism. So in saving insurers an estimated £90m over three years, the new British Insurance Anti-Fraud Squad may also be helping to nip latterday homegrown Bin Ladens in the bud.
Hints from central government that insurers would pay out less in property damage claims if they would care to organise some chaps to go round putting out fires have thus far not been taken up.