GoCompare is the first price comparison website to join the Insurance Fraud Bureau as a full member after working with the organisation for years

Credit: GoCompare

Financial services comparison website GoCompare has become the first business of its kind to join the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) as an official member.

This move builds on GoCompare’s existing efforts to tackle fraud, having partnered with risk management insurtech Featurespace in December to incorporate machine learning into the detection process.

Fleur Lewis, head of fraud at GoCompare, said: “We have been working alongside the IFB for several years and becoming a member will enhance our current fraud capabilities to protect both our partners and customers alike.

“Being a comparison website, we’re very aware that we act as the guardians of data for many insurers and we have an important role to play in the prevention of front-end fraud.

Credit: GoCompare

“We believe it’s our duty to support the industry in any way we can by identifying fraudulent behaviour, and having this additional intelligence from the IFB increases our preventive measures at point-of-quote.

“These capabilities enable insurers to assess the risk in real-time and either decline the business or price accurately to ensure all parties are suitably protected.”

Nick Benham, head of customer services at the IFB, believes price comparison websites engaging with the industry to tackle fraud is a positive thing for insurance companies.

He added: “Price comparison websites are on the front-line of the fight against fraud, with access to a wealth of data and intelligence on suspected fraudulent activity.

“It is therefore strategically important that the industry forges close links with comparison websites in order to reduce the opportunities for fraudsters and ensure our honest customers are not impacted.

“We are therefore delighted to welcome GoCompare to the IFB’s membership, which will further strengthen the Bureau’s capability to detect and disrupt organised fraud.”


What is the Insurance Fraud Bureau?

The IFB is a not-for-profit group established in 2006 to aid insurance companies in identifying fraudulent behaviour.

It also shares information with the police to assist them in prosecuting insurance fraudsters and, in turn, helps providers avoid paying out for fraudulent claims.

The IFB’s “Cheatline” allows anybody to submit a fraudulent insurance application for past or present claims, or tip-off the organisation to any future planned attempts at fraud.

gocompare insurance fraud
Credit: Insurance Fraud Bureau

The organisation allows insurance companies to share data anonymously on its digital platform, so they can use it to better identify fraud without being able to identify its source.

In March this year, fraud prevention specialist Cifas reported a 27% rise in false insurance claims across the UK in the past year, with the biggest spikes in the household and motor insurance sectors.


Price comparison websites are a key part of the UK insurance market

Price comparison sites have become a significant player in the insurance market since their arrival in the early 2000s, with most of their business coming from home and car insurance customers.

A 2016 market report on home insurance from global research firm Mintel showed that nearly half of all customers used price comparison websites in their search for insurance, but much fewer bought cover through this channel.

Data and analytics firm GlobalData’s 2018 General Insurance Consumer Survey found that 38% of people purchase motor insurance via a price comparison site, an increase of more than 10% since 2017.