The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI ) believes the strategy they introduced for fighting fraud is impacting on the market, after recording a 12 percent drop in claims involving uninsured or untraced vehicles in Westmeath during the first seven months of 2018.
Over the January to July period, the MIBI received a total of 22 claims from Westmeath, a drop of three from the 25 claims they had received in the county by the end of July 2017.
The MIBI is a non-profit organisation established to provide compensation to victims of accidents involving uninsured or untraced vehicles.
Last year, the MIBI introduced a comprehensive plan to make it as difficult as possible for fraudulent claims to succeed. This included measures to put the full weight of the MIBI’s internal and external resources behind investigating suspicious claims, working hand in hand with the Gardaí to look into these cases as well as legally contesting such claims and bringing them to trial to be scrutinised by the full power of the courts.
The MIBI also recorded a national drop in figures during the first seven months of the year, with the number of claims throughout the country decreasing by 144, marking an eight percent decline in claims when compared to the previous year.
Speaking about the figures, Chief Executive of the MIBI, David Fitzgerald said, “it is positive to see that the number of claims from Westmeath is starting to reduce. Admittedly these figures represent only a snapshot in time and some of the county by county numbers are too small to draw any significant conclusions from. However, considering these statistics cover over half a year’s worth of data, they are a useful barometer of the general MIBI claims’ environment and this shows a noteworthy drop in the total number of claims.
“Taking a more detailed look at the claims received, we do believe a significant portion of this decrease is because of the increased scrutiny we are placing on fraudulent claims. According to our handlers, since we adopted our ‘Fighting Fraud’ strategy, which involves a zero tolerance approach to fraud, there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of claims where the evidence does not back up the case being made.
“Fraudsters are starting to get the message that if they want to make a fictional claim to the MIBI then they will have to be prepared to have that claim put through microscopic examination. Any such claims from Westmeath or any other part of the country will be thoroughly investigated by the MIBI working in co-operation with the Gardaí. If the evidence still doesn’t add up, they will be brought before the courts. The days of easy settlements for nonsense claims are definitely over,” Mr. Fitzgerald noted.