The Rising Tide of Fraudulent EL and PL Claims
Will Gaskell looks at the upward trend of EL/PL claims and offers a practical insight
into ways to improve their fraud management
It should come as no surprise businesses are seeing a significant rise in employers' and public
liability claims. We are not just in the midst of a very deep recession; we are also part of a
claims and litigation culture that has been steadily growing and becoming almost fashionable
for the last ten to fifteen years. This has been further fuelled by the incredible increase in ‘no
win no fee’ legal assistance being offered and incessantly advertised in the media. Public
attitude has therefore changed dramatically with the desire for compensation being foremost
in the mind, instead of an afterthought. Whilst it is right and proper to be both financially
protected and compensated for an injury, unfortunately the mix of recession and the litigious
culture has meant there has been a distinct rise in fraudulent claims.
Those outside the claim industry often think of claim fraud as being mainly committed by
organised gangs or fraud rings. In fact, the greatest incidence of fraud is undertaken by
everyday folk like you and I and being motivated by any number of factors, for example;
greed, disgruntled with employer, insurers are ‘fair game’, and the list goes on.
The claims handler has their work cut out with fraud. Fraud is insidious, not self-disclosing
unlike so many other crimes, and will on the surface appear like any other genuine claim.
Worse still for the claims handler, fraud will be hidden within a genuine incident with the
claimant grossly exaggerating their predicament in order to obtain the maximum amount of
gain. Detecting such claims it has to be said, is far from straightforward, but not impossible.
Your success in managing the problems will come from the key areas listed below – your
challenge, I suggest, will be to build or change a claims process that gets the balance right
between managing fra