SINGAPORE - The report on June 19 ("Awards for stars of police force") highlighted an elaborate case of motor insurance fraud broken by the General Fraud Branch of the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD).
A 45-year-old man masterminded a conspiracy in which he got people to be phantom passengers in vehicle accidents and make bogus insurance claims. The CAD cracked the case after interviewing more than 30 people.
I thank the CAD for its efforts in battling insurance fraud.
The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) estimates that 20 per cent of motor insurance claims experienced by GIA members are inflated or fraudulent.
This amounts to a loss of about $140 million each year.
Motor insurance fraud is diverse, ranging from staged collisions and inflated damages to claims by phantom passengers and exaggerated whiplash injuries.
These fraudulent activities affect innocent people through purposeful injury or damage. Insurers also price premiums to reflect the actual payout.
If fraudulent practices persist, motor insurance premiums will inevitably increase.
This affects everyone, including safe drivers who do not make any claims.
As the largest motor insurer in Singapore, NTUC Income has been active in combating fraud.
Each day, our team of Orange Force riders patrol the streets to provide accident-scene assistance to our customers as well as protect them against inflated or fraudulent claims.
We are also the first insurer with a dedicated motor fraud investigation unit. Over the last three years, we have referred more than 100 cases to the CAD for investigation.
Clearly, we cannot do it alone. We must work closely with the GIA through the Motor Claims Framework, and we urge other key stakeholders, such as lawyers and doctors, to play an active role in suppressing fraudulent practices.
Such collaborations and our continued vigilance will ultimately benefit all motorists and the industry.