newsBusinessLive reports that rampant fraud remains a challenge for SA life insurers, which detected 3,708 fraudulent and dishonest claims to the value of R1.06bn in 2018.  

Although almost down 25% from 2018’s total number of irregular claims (2017 saw 5,026), the value of claims — in 2017 it was R1.13bn — remained almost the same, statistics released this week by the Association for Savings and Investment SA (Asisa) showed.  Donovan Herman, convener of Asisa’s claims standing committee, reported that most of the fraudulent activity in 2018 took place in the funeral insurance space.  Reports from the forensic departments of life insurers showed that buying and renting dead bodies for the purpose of obtaining fraudulent death certificates was a popular modus operandi.  Funeral policies do not require blood tests and medical examinations and are designed to pay out quickly and without hassle when an insured family member dies.  This unfortunately makes it tempting for criminals and dishonest individuals to take out funeral cover for people who do not exist.  According to the statistics, life insurers rejected 1,915 funeral claims worth R176.4m in 2018, of which 1,127 were found to involve fraudulent documentation.  Another 156 fraudulent claims showed syndicate involvement, and in seven cases beneficiaries were found to have caused the death of the policyholder.

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