FIGHTING AGAINST INSURANCE FRAUDS GETS BITTER
Fighting against insurance frauds which appear to become an international problem was among the main topics of discussion at the sixth international conference Insurance Fraud, Theft and Smuggling of Vehicles. The forum was held in the Sofia Kempinski Zografski Hotel from 14 to 16 October.The most frequent insurance frauds lately have been the frame-up insurance events - theft, robbery, arsen, or crash of vehicles. The second most frequent event is insurance of vehicles that have caused damages or have crashed in the past. Sometimes, one vehicle is insured by several companies at the same time. Thefts of insured vehicles have decreased by 49% for the first nine months of 2003 as compared to the same period of 2002. This is probably a result of the efficient interference of the police in chasing stolen cars, the improved customs control, as well as the activity of the insurance companies. Statistics for 2003 shows that the greatest number of thefts has been registered in Sofia (49%), Varna (11.5%), Bourgas (9.6%). About 60% of the stolen cars have been insured for up to BGN20,000, and some 27% - for up to BGN40,000. Of all vehicles found by the police, 70% have been produced in the past two years.The Association of Bulgarian Insurers pointed as a priority task the establishment of an information system for operating Casco and Civil Liability insurance policies, for exchange of information, prevention and detection of insurance frauds. Insurers propose to get access to the Single Information System for Counteraction to Crime, which provides fast control over those who participate in car accidents.A specialized automated information technology for insurance companies was presented on the conference. It has been developed by the Police National Service, the State Insurance Institute (DZI), and Index-Bulgaria OOD, and is intended to improve the information exchange between the police and insurers.Representatives of GPS-Bulgaria presented the main aspects and results of their collaboration with insurers and police, aiming to reduce the number of stolen cars and insurance frauds. According to their statistics for the year 2000, GPS equipment was installed in 307 cars, 263 theft alarms were received, and only one of these vehicles was stolen. In 2002, 2,065 vehicles were equipped with GPS, there were 578 theft attempts, and nine vehicles were stolen. Insurance frauds were found out for six of these vehicles. At the conference, two more companies - RAPAS-97 and Security Group Alpha, presented the results of their efforts to reduce the number of insurance frauds and car thefts in Bulgaria.