Research has found a serious discrepancy about what constitutes fraud
New research shows 56% of young drivers do not consider being untruthful about their profession to be insurance fraud.
While 58% say the same about providing a false estimate of the number of kilometres driven per year.
New research by Liberty Insurance suggests a serious discrepancy in what constitutes insurance fraud between 17- to 29-year-old drivers and their older peers.
Conducted by Red C Research among 750 drivers, the survey found that 31% of young drivers consider lying about the primary driver of their car to be ‘mild’ insurance fraud or not fraud at all - this compares to 19% of all adult drivers.
Despite these discrepancies, the research found almost half of all respondents said being untruthful with your insurer about the number of penalty points on your license constitutes ‘extreme fraud’.
And 43% say providing an insurer with false information about your driving experience is also extreme fraud.
Some 82% of Irish drivers believe a ‘claims culture’ is more prevalent in Ireland today than a decade ago, while 88% think those who submit fraudulent claims should face harsher penalties.
But despite this, they survey found few are willing to blow the whistle on insurance fraud.
Almost 45% say they would not do so out of fear of being found out, increasing to 51% among those aged 25-34.
Commenting on the research, Liberty Insurance CEO Sharon O’Brien said: “Ultimately, intentionally misleading your insurer about your driving record, your vehicle and other details on a policy application is a form of fraud.
"Fraud is a very serious problem for our industry and impacts significantly on cost. It is not a victimless crime and effects the premiums that our customers pay.
“Most Irish people recognise this and want to see these people face harsher penalties."
The insurance firm is calling for a number of reforms of the industry including zero tolerance of fraud.
It says while existing legislation provides for a jail sentence where serious insurance fraud has been proven, evidence suggests that this is very rarely applied with only a small number of successful prosecutions.
It also wants to see the creation of a National Fraud Database for enhanced fraud detection, allowing for a crackdown on serial claimants.
It is proposing this would be managed by the Central Bank and accessible by all insurers operating in the Irish market and by the gardaí.