Fraud detected by South African
life insurers in 2009 soared by 119% compared to 2008 to ZAR824.2m
($115m, reveals data released by the Association for Savings and
Investment South Africa (ASISA).

Fraudulent claims represented about
0.5% of total claims and benefits of ZAR176.6bn paid by the life
industry in 2009.

ASISA deputy CEO Peter Dempsey said
the rise could be attributed to the difficult economic conditions
as well as improved detection measures implemented by insurers. He
added that, for the first time, life companies had also submitted
data for health business, hospital claims and retrenchment

In total 4,826 attempts by
policyholders and beneficiaries to access policy benefits through
fraudulent and dishonest means were detected in 2009, up from 1,382
in 2008.

Dempsey said the death and funeral
insurance category experienced the highest number of fraudulent and
dishonest claims last year, with insurers reporting 3,579 cases to
the value of ZAR443.8m. The majority of cases were due to
misrepresentation and material non-disclosure, as well as the
submission of fraudulent documentation, he added.

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By GlobalData