When a client reported €0.5 million in damage of photovoltaic panels at a solar power station caused by a strong storm and hail, the insurance company checked the incident. It found out that the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMÚ) had not recorded any storm in the location at that time and that the damage was caused by attrition during the operation of panels not covered by the insurance policy.
“Consequently we turned down the request for the payout,” said Jaroslava Zemanová, head of Allianz-Slovenská Poisťovňa’s department of control and special activities, as cited in the press release.
This case was one of the 2,398 cases of insurance fraud, totaling more than €7 million, which the insurer had uncovered last year. This was a record both in terms of the number of insurance fraud as well as the total sum of denied payouts for the last 15 years.
The insurer ascribes the high number of uncovered fraud attempts to targeted inspections, technologies like software damage, comparing software, simulation software, data from publicly accessible registers and websites, social networks, satellite photos, and last but not least, the deployment of trained experts.
“We launched an identification system warning us of suspicious cases at which we have a closer look in 2008,” said Zemanová. “We are constantly improving it.”
Car insurance fraud amounted to 1,049 cases of more than €2.55 million in 2019, while the number of uncovered fraud increased compared with 2018. The industry sector ended with 177 uncovered cases of fraud exceeding €2.08 million. The travel insurance sector reported the lowest number of uncovered fraud – eight with total claims of €14,476.
Allianz-Slovenská Poisťovňa warns that insurance fraud is a criminal offence that can send the culprit behind bars for 8-15 years.
“Alas, insurance fraud is a crime tolerated by society, which many even like to air with pride,” said Zemanová, adding that when an insurance company pays damage in relation to insurance fraud, this artificially increases the loss ratio. This eventually increases the price of insurance policies.
2. Mar 2020 at 23:05 | Compiled by Spectator staff