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AXA’s investment in tackling application fraud delivers results as Operation Flower blocks motor fraud ring

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A series of organised, contrived motor collisions valued at over £140,000 have been blocked by a combined underwriting and claims anti-fraud operation conducted by AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary.

Operation Flower (so named as all third party addresses and accident locations were in the name of flowers or trees) was launched in August 2014 after nine claims in the Southampton area were highlighted with the same commonalities including:

Each accident involved the policyholder, driving a commercial vehicle, pulling out of a side road and colliding with the third party vehicle
Once the policyholder readily accepted liability, no further contact could be made
The third party vehicles had a pre-accident value in excess fo £4,000
All accidents occurred within weeks of policy inception
All the third parties resided in the Southampton area
A detailed investigation at both the policy inception and claims stages, sought to locate the policyholders and obtain engineering evidence to support the claims, however, the results of this investigation supported the view that the accidents had been contrived. They were all repudiated as a result.

Intelligence searches confirmed that this cluster of fraudulent claims was perpetrated by the same gang that had targeted another large insurer, with a similar group of contrived accidents.

Craig Conlon, Underwriting Fraud Manager at AXA, said:

“This is a great result which highlights the benefits of having aligned fraud strategies across the underwriting and claims functions.

“This was a real collaborative effort – internally, with our anti-fraud partners Absolute and even with a fellow insurer who had been targeted by the same gang.

“At AXA we use all the tools at our disposal to try and stop fraudsters at every point and the cumulative effect of attacking even relatively modest incidences of fraud will make it clear to these criminals that insurance is no longer a soft target for fraud.”

As part of this approach, all the individuals involved in this fraud are being uploaded to the Insurance Fraud Register, which has been developed by the insurance industry for the insurance industry to help prevent and detect fraudsters.