ICICI Lombard is utilising the latest technology and forensic methods to verify insurance claims.
Virendra Singh Rawat reports.
Private sector general insurer ICICI Lombard is upgrading the use of forensic methods to detect fraud in claims by companies, in the backdrop of rising incidents in this regard and loan defaults.
Lokanath Kar, its chief legal and principal compliance officer, said they had empanelled experts to detect cases where fraudulent claims had been made by companies facing a financial squeeze or like issues.
In cases of corporate fraud or default being reported every other day, insurance companies are trying to pre-empt prospective losses, he explained.
On a petition filed by the company regarding fraud in vehicle insurance claims, the Allahabad high court had in October 2015 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to constitute a special task force to probe these.
"Since then, the STF has detected 126 fraudulent cases worth Rs 230 million in the state. Police cases have also been filed in 60 cases by the STF," says Kar.
Similar STFs had been formed in Delhi, Odisha and Rajasthan while petitions were pending in Gujarat and Karnataka. In Delhi, the STF was formed in September 2017.
Kar said the company was utilising the services of professionals, the latest technologies and forensics to verify claims -- verification of accident spots, criminal case records, hospital records, testimony of witnesses and so forth with the aid of technology in motor insurance claims.
"After the formation of the STF in UP, we have witnessed significant drops in claim intimations; there have been voluntary claim withdrawals as well," adds Kar.
The burden from fraudulent claims is ultimately borne by honest people, since rates are increased on the basis of composite losses borne by the companies, Kar points out.
ICICI Lombard is the country's largest private sector non-life insurer, on the basis of gross direct premium income in 2016-2017.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com