Combating Fraud After A Weather Disaster

Combating Fraud After A Weather Disaster
Natural disasters such as hurricanes can be an unpredictable risk and threat to insurance carriers. Each year such events are expected and even planned for, but the amount of devastation is naturally an unknown until the event takes place. Despite the innate threat of hurricanes and similar disasters, the fraud that almost always occurs afterward can be just as devastating to your bottom line. Both insureds and the property and casualty industry must prepare to face a wave of fraud and scam attempts in the wake of any weather event.
Information Campaign
After a hurricane, a wave of illegal activities collectively identified as disaster fraud takes place. Property owners who have everything to lose are the prime targets for opportunistic fraudsters. Insurance carriers can help reduce the number of victims of such scams by beginning an information campaign to warn insureds of the tell-tale signs of disaster-related fraud and scams. While scams involving fake contractors rank among the most common, charity and donation scams should also be included in the educational campaign. Such scams cover a more extensive section of the population and affect even those unharmed by the disaster itself. Providing a shortlist of steps to take to confirm any phone call or solicitor truly originates from a reputable source will make it easy for otherwise naive customers to avoid being scammed.

Property Insurance Fraud
Insurance carriers will always face the risk of property insurance fraud occurring. These risks only increase after a natural disaster, particularly with regard to hurricanes. In previous years, the shortage of claim adjusters meant insurance carriers had to take who and what was available, leaving little opportunity to be selective. Fortunately, at this current point in time, insurance carriers can afford to opt for the best. Choosing insurance claims adjusters who utilize inspection technology along with their in-person inspection can help fight potential fraud. The usage of drones to inspect property proved very useful after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, particularly when access to a damaged roof proved risky. Inspection technology will help to both speed up the claims process, and ensure the validity of customer claims, reducing fraudulent payments.

The battle against fraud will never end as long as opportunity exists. While insurance carriers have systems in place to defend against common instances of fraud, insureds are often at the mercy of state-dispatched anti-fraud strike teams. Taking the initiative before disaster strikes to educate insureds with tips on avoiding being scammed lets your policyholders know you are on their side. Utilizing inspection technology to bolster inspection accuracy also benefits the fight against costly insurance fraud.

The thorough and accurate property inspection reports provided by Insurance Risk Services can help you prevent previous or unrelated damage being tacked onto a disaster-related claim. Our in-person inspections accurately document the state of any residential or commercial property, ensuring you receive the full picture before and after any major event. Contact us at Insurance Risk Services to see how we deliver superior inspection and underwriting support services to all our partners.