What is the Insurance Claims Register?
The Insurance Claims Register (New Zealand) database (ICR) was developed in 1998 by the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ). The ICNZ holds the shares in Insurance Claims Register Limited in trust for its participants (insurance companies who are members of the ICNZ). The objective of the ICR is to assist insurance companies to reduce the incidence of insurance fraud.
What does the Insurance Claims Register do?
The ICR enables insurers to use a past history of an individual’s claims to:
- Consider the accuracy of disclosures made at the time of sale for insurance,
- Assist in detecting fraudulent duplicate claims,
- Assess past claims history.
Which insurance companies use the Insurance Claims Register?
There are seven participating insurance companies (as at January 2022):
- IAG (State, NZI, Lantern, Lumley and AMI)
- Vero (including AMP)
These companies represent approximately 95% of the domestic insurance market and approximately 40% of the commercial insurance market.
How does the Insurance Claims Register work?
Information from insurance claims is updated to the ICR database daily, directly from the participant’s systems and each claim is linked to an individual policyholder. The database currently contains information about over 8 million insurance claims.
Enquiries from participating insurers are made on this data on both an interactive and batch basis to match customers across insurance companies and identify potential fraudulent claims.
Claims stay on the database for ten years then automatically drop off. The exception to this is if claims have been flagged, in which case the claim will stay in the database indefinitely. If a claim has been flagged, it indicates to other insurers that the claim was identified by the insurer to be a risk to the business and is making sure that other insurers are also aware of this individual’s claim.
A claim is only flagged once the customer concerned has been informed, usually by way of a claim declinature letter.
[H2] What steps can an insurer take following a suspicious claim?
The insurer may decide to take the following actions against the individual, if a claim is found to be suspicious:
- Decline the claim in its entirety and flag the claim,
- Cancel the policy.
What are the consequences of flagged claims in the Insurance Claims Register?
If a claim is flagged on the ICR, that customer may find it extremely difficult to get insurance cover in the future. However, there are insurance brokers that specialise in helping people gain insurance after having an insurance policy cancelled, however this will come with much higher premiums.
Additional consequences for individuals of having a policy cancelled due to a flagged claim:
- Unable or difficult to find another insurer,
- For house hunters or homeowners – no insurance means no mortgage,
- May be prosecuted,
- Personal integrity is put into doubt.
The ICR acts in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020 and requests for information can be obtained.
Ask for help if you’re unsure
If you think you have an insurance claim to make but aren’t sure about how to go about it, or what information you’ll need, do get in touch with your insurer. They can walk you through the process and support you to complete your claim correctly.
Know people making dishonest insurance claims?
Do the right thing! Do your friends and family a favour and tell them not to. Let them know that the actions they’re taking are considered fraudulent and is a criminal offence. Importantly, if they get caught, a conviction can prevent their ability to get finance in the future.
You can also report insurance fraud by visiting our website. You can make reports anonymous if you wish. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It is a crime that all policyholders pay for.