Fraud investigation

TYPES OF FRAUDULENT LOSSES WE DEAL WITH

Fraud comes in many different forms, but the main areas we investigate are:

  • Arson
  • Accidental damage
  • Staged burglaries
  • Motor
  • Paint spills
  • Claim exaggeration

This diversity means our investigators will handle anything from major losses such as a deliberately set fire in a large factory, through to minor losses involving paint being deliberately spilled onto a domestic carpet.

WHY APPOINT A FORENSIC INVESTIGATOR?

Hawkins will examine the physical evidence associated with the case and give you a clear view on whether or not there is evidence to prove that the claim is fraudulent. When combined with your own knowledge of the case and its history, this should enable you to come to a swift decision on how to deal with the claim.

Did you know that:

  • The height from which a television has been dropped can be estimated from the physical damage?
  • The force needed to knock a plasma TV off its stand can be measured?
  • There is scientific research measuring the force that can be generated by a running child, or even the inevitable pet?
  • We can measure the impact imparted when a hammer drops into a wash basin and often help to evaluate whether further impacts would have been likely?
  • Paint spills obey predictable rules of physics?
  • That it is often possible to show when paint has been poured rather than spilled?

Hawkins can give you the scientific evidence to show whether or not the damage is consistent with the version of events put forward by the claimant. We are trained and able to give evidence in Court should you decide to involve the Police.

This enables you to:

  • Settle the claim quickly
  • Continue to question the claimant
  • Allow the claimant to withdraw the claim
  • Pursue the matter further, turn down the claim and refuse to renew the insurance

HOW DOES HAWKINS INVESTIGATE LOSSES WHERE FRAUD IS SUSPECTED?

Arson
Most investigations start with obtaining and considering witness evidence. If appropriate we will take statements. Such statements are the first step in establishing a narrative of events and are often important in determining policy liability.

Liaison with official agencies is often an important part of fire investigation and Hawkins is well versed in handling losses involving the Police and the Fire Brigade, and obtaining and interpreting CCTV footage. Some losses involve fire alarms or intruder alarms and our investigators are expert in obtaining and interpreting such data.

For arson losses, our investigators will pay particular attention to the fine detail of the cause, looking for accelerants, or other, more innovative methods of starting fires without detection. Often, the perpetrator does not realise that fire will not remove all traces of deliberate ignition. In addition, witness marks are created during a fire and these marks can provide a wealth of information such as whether a bolt was shot home or not, or whether the power to an appliance was on or not at the time of a fire. Additionally, marks alleged to have been left by intruders in breaking into the building can disclose much to the trained expert.

At the heart of fire investigation is the interpretation of patterns of fire damage and a consideration of electrical evidence. Hawkins' investigators are highly experienced in both areas and will piece together the varied aspects of physical evidence to uncover the location in which the fire started.

Motor
We are able to help with motor fraud losses by examining the physical evidence. Our work in this area includes:

  • Examination of the location in which a vehicle was allegedly damaged. The underside of a vehicle, when compared with soil analysis at the alleged location, can show definitively if the damage occurred where alleged.
  • Examination of keys
  • Assistance with staged motor accidents. We will carry out a reconstruction analysis of the crash to determine whether or not the damage is consistent with the claimant's account.

OTHER FRAUD LOSSES

Where there is suspected fraud involving dropped televisions or spilled paint, specialist investigators are often brought in, either from the insurer's own staff or from an outside agency. Such investigators concentrate on the evidence they are given by the claimant using such techniques as voice stress analysis, conversation management and database interrogation.

Hawkins' approach works well in tandem with such techniques by concentrating on the physical evidence and bringing sound scientific techniques to bear. In this way, we can show whether the damage could have occurred in the manner described in the claimant's statement.

IFIG (INSURANCE FRAUD INVESTIGATORS GROUP)

Hawkins is a member of IFIG, the Insurance Fraud Investigators Group. Being a member of IFIG enables us to share knowledge and training with other member companies. In addition, we can also share information about particular claims where fraud is suspected enabling us to help to identify serial fraudsters not identified by standard database searches.

It is often possible to show when paint has been poured rather than spilled.

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