The UK insurance sector has joined forces with law enforcement agencies to launch a new insurance fraud bureau to crack down on bogus claims.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) will be headed by a former Scotland Yard detective, and aims to analyze suspicious claims patterns to detect fraudulent activity.

The IFB will also run a confidential Cheatline where people can report suspected insurance frauds.

Insurers already stop a lot of fraud. Last year we detected fraudulent claims worth more than GBP400 million, says Stephen Sklaroff, deputy director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

But the growth in organized fraud requires a new approach. The launch of the Insurance Fraud Bureau shows the industry’s determination to expose the organized criminal gangs who often use insurance payouts to fund other crimes, and put lives in danger.

The ABI says that fraud adds 5% to the cost of consumers’ premiums in the UK.