Identity Theft in Insurance

In the development of today’s technology people are more aware of the existence of fraudulent acts, hacks and scams especially in the cyber world. In the vastness of the internet, someone out there is trying to find their fortune taking advantage of their technological intelligence. Since the details in our lives are almost all in sync within the internet, it would be critical if someone breaks our information and data. I know you would agree that it can even cost us our lives.

Last May, 2015, one of the clients of Axis Capital, with a group of insurance and reinsurance companies based in Bermuda and has branches all over the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia and in almost ten states in North America, complained of the change of her physical address registered with the company.

Upon rechecking, it was confirmed that a person had called her agent requesting to change the address. The person, who happened to be a fraud, was able to verify the identity information of the client and was able to provide confidential information therefore, the request, was permitted. The client, who personally came to the head office, was then adamant that she had never authorized anyone to change her location nor did she make any phone calls with the agent. She was reviewing her accounts and policies when she saw the change of address. Fortunately, no loans were transacted and no significant cash value lost. After a long negotiation, both parties agreed to continue their partnership while the client didn’t accept any compensation the company tried to offer, insisting that there is no loss. In response, Axis has now fully installed a new security system and an overhaul and rechecking of other accounts to prevent any other possible scam to happen in the future.

Reports similar to identity theft using information included in insurance policies also exist not only in developed countries. In Jakarta, Indonesia, a man was put to prison when he claimed a policy for accident insurance which never happened. It turned out that he was also not the real client but a theft.

Question is, how can a client know he is safe with his insurance company? Review your policies more often than you have been. This is a new and troubling direction for fraud, which may have delays from the date of occurrence until you are notified in writing or email—or at all.

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