Harvest Time: Claims Farming Growing Again

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Harvest Time: Claims Farming Growing Again

Published 5 July 2022

Early predictions that Claims Farming in motor would accelerate during lockdown have proven to be accurate. Despite an overall reduction in claims in general, the proportion of farmed claims (and interestingly Phantom passenger and to a lesser degree Staged claims) steadily increased during this period. The perception was that farming would then significantly increase as the OIC reforms were implemented but as quick as they would increase, they would decline again as these reforms took shape. What would be in it for those farming claims was the question. 

This increase then decline didn’t happen and in fact we have seen almost the opposite – there was no “big bang” of cases but we have instead seen a steady rise in the first 13 months of the OIC. This increase is also expected to be expedited, across a broad range of product areas, due to factors such as inflation and the rising cost of living crisis, making the lure of compensation more appealing to those in financial hardship.

We have seen growth across the entire spectrum of wrongdoing within Claims Farming; from data theft attempts and acting without instruction at the more serious end, to “grey areas” such as attempts to resurrect abandoned/repudiated claims, as well as new methods such as “Recruitment Frauds” and online Ad-Spoofing which rely on deceptive means of securing or intercepting otherwise genuine claims. In addition to fraudsters targeting new and less tested areas such as fraudulent theft, fire and flood claims, claims farming in EL and PL, and niche but expensive areas such as cannabis farms, farming appears potentially here to stay as AMC’s test the boundaries of the OIC and we are seeing the traditional enabler names appear.

Common indicators have generally remained consistent:

  • Late notified (or indeed sometimes unbelievably early) phantom passenger claims;
  • Ever-increasing delays between incident date and claim notification;
  • Missing details on claim notification forms;
  • Claimant representatives appearing in one element of a claim but not others;
  • Claimants who don’t appear to be fully “on board” with their claims, whether in full or with regards specific elements;
    • For example, a claimant who is under the illusion that they have been provided a courtesy car when they are in fact in credit hire;

Should risks be identified, a clear and consistent handling strategy is recommended in order to validate instructions, detect exaggeration, pursue medicals and take advantage of intelligence opportunities. Knowledge of your opponent is also especially important, to pinpoint the common modus operandi of the firms bringing the claims, detailed further below. We have developed our own “new look” triggers which combine traditional indicators with those bespoke to COVID and specific opponents. We leverage these across all the claims we handle.

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For more information contact:

Authors

Dan Prince

Dan Prince

Birmingham

+44 (0)121 698 5282

Rob Fallows

Rob Fallows

Birmingham

+44 (0) 121 698 5039

Dennis Davies

Dennis Davies

Birmingham

+44(0)121 698 5727

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