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Car theft control group targets insurance fraud

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Vehicle crime is set to worsen because of the economic downturn, setting off a likely rise in insurance fraud, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council warned in its Strategic Plan 2020-22.

The council says it intends to step up its engagement with the insurance industry, such as seeking to work collaboratively with insurers via the Insurance Fraud Bureau to review its fraud assumptions and risks. The bureau was set up in 2010 by the Insurance Council of Australia to combat all forms of insurance fraud.

It is also working with IAG’s Research Centre to assess the utility of stored vehicle data for police and insurance investigations.

“Given the proven links between poor economic outlook and increases in property crime, there are likely to be further changes in the dynamics of profit-motivated theft going forward,” the council says.

“It is expected that there will be greater incidences of insurance fraud disguised as motor vehicle theft including staged collisions, likely to result in increases in theft of vehicles in a younger age group.

“With the ongoing disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is almost certain the current uplift in vehicle crime will extend well into 2021 at a minimum.”

The council says there will be “growing instances of insurance fraud presented as vehicle theft.”

In the last financial year an 11% jump in profit-motivated theft of passenger and light commercial vehicles pushed up the overall number of stolen vehicles by 2% to 56,312, the council says.

Click here for more on the strategic plan.