But what's insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is withholding information or deliberately deceiving an insurer. Basically, if anyone misleads or keeps secrets from them. People commit bicycle insurance fraud in lots of ways like:
- Claiming for existing damages before signing up
- Claiming for thefts that happened pre-sign up
- Claiming to have used a gold rated lock, when it wasn’t gold rated
- Claiming for a theft that never happened
- Withholding parts as part of claim settlement - when we settle claims we have the right to recover any items. We then sell those parts for profit which goes back into the collective to reduce monthly premiums. Win - win!
Let’s face it, some people may tell white lies if they will benefit from it. Whether it’s about the value of a stolen bike or what exactly was taken. While it may not seem like much, it has huge impacts on the entire collective.
How we keep our collective safe from fraud
Our collective is kept safe from fraud because fraud checks are a major part of our claims handling process. We’ve set up our very own internal system checks and backend tech platform to identify these cases and protect our collective. In total we’ve developed 3 different layers of fraud identification:
- Behaviour patterns - We’ve identified fraud patterns that we focus on when assessing claims - our team of self confessed cycling nerds are expertly trained to spot and process potentially fraudulent claims.
- Our super swanky tech platform - Once a potential fraudulent claim is identified our claims handlers have a wide range of data available to verify the claim.
- External data - The third layer involves doing some more digging to get extra evidence. Such as accessing a police report, CCTV footage and lots of other in-depth detective stuff!
Potential fraudulent claims are flagged with our underwriter Zurich, who helps us once a claim has been identified. We also work closely with police forces to flag these claims, so that we can give a heads up to the relevant agencies.
And if it comes to it, we can also try to find the fraudster. Mess with one of us, and you mess with all of us.
Team Laka at work
Our team does an awesome job at flagging fraudulent claims. One example comes from a member of the collective who held onto parts that should have been returned to the collective. They claimed the parts had been 'lost in the post' but a team member spotted them on an online marketplace. Once the parts were confirmed as an exact match, through distinctive scuff marks and photographic evidence, the claim was flagged as fraud. You can’t get nothing past these guys!
A rise in fraud has led to a much tougher approach by law enforcement. It can land you with imprisonment and a criminal record. Ouch!
Fraud is commonly thought as a victimless crime however it actually affects thousands of people. These fraudulent claims hike premiums for the whole collective, which is something we're extra eager to avoid.
We look into every claim thoroughly and with an open mind, only raising suspicion when necessary. It’s what we do.
How you can help prevent fraud
The best way for you to help us is to be open and honest when submitting a claim. Submit all the information you have, even if you think it's insignificant. Once you've included as much information as possible in your claim, our team of cyclists will move mountains to get you back in the saddle.