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Is major loss from severe weather opening the flood gates to fraud?

Verifying media at source to use in the claims process


The global insurance industry will have to pay out the largest amount of compensation in the last decade to cover the damage done by natural disasters in the first half of 2021 according to London-based Aon insurance.

Global natural disaster insured losses will be as high as £31 billion for the six-month period. Twenty-one extreme weather events – mainly in the US - included a freezing polar vortex in Texas, heat wave and record high temperatures in the US north-west and British Columbia, Canada and storms in Europe that saw devastating flooding in Germany. With every passing year, adverse weather extremes hit new records as storms grow in intensity and numbers, and the cost to the industry grows too. Wildfires in southern Europe, the US and Siberia and flooding in northern Europe, cyclones, hurricanes, mudslides, earthquakes, erupting volcanos … the list goes on.



However, according to figures from the Association of British Insurers, the average fraudulent insurance claim has also risen to £12,000. In fact, in 2019, 107,000 fraudulent insurance claims worth £1.2 billion were uncovered by insurers - a new scam being uncovered every five minutes – 300 a day. In the case of major loss due to weather extremes, where claims run into thousands, it raises the question of what steps insurers can take to further reduce or prevent fraud.


Increasingly in the claims process, video footage and photographic evidence are being used to assess damage.

Every device we own has a camera, but there are immeasurable ways to tamper with those devices and the footage they capture. Video and photo footage is increasingly being embedded into the claims process as ‘proof’ of damage or loss, and with that comes increasing risk of fraud where those images haven’t been certified.


Unless footage is verified at source, images can be easily altered – the metadata changed, photoshopped, a video clip shortened or stolen from another online source. The importance for insurers of being able to trust what they see, embed the footage into enterprise workflow and store it safely for use in the claims process must be combined with the need to understand the difference between certified and circumstantial evidence. Certified media can be proven to be tamper proof – unaltered from the point at which it was taken. Failure to verify media in this way leaves insurers open to fraud.


So how can insurers ensure that what they see and capture in the claims process is real?


Working with eviid, insurance companies have been able to introduce a verified video element to insurance company claims - and has seen, that where claims are of a value of less than £2,000, a shocking 40% of claimants have walked away from completing the claim at all. At least in the first instance, video verification has the ability to reduce low-level fraud.


Through the capture, verification, upload and storage of video and photos within the eviid media platform – video and photo content are certified, and insurance companies can be sure that what they’re seeing within their enterprise workflow is real. For insurers it offers a way to verify footage taken ‘in situ’ – in potentially precarious or sensitive life-threatening natural disaster situations. The technology also allows for any sensitive footage to be ‘locked’ within the workflow so that those with access permissions can review it, but it’s not widely available to everyone to do so.


Eviid also provides the ability to work remotely and remove the need for loss adjustors to go to site. It connects those in a disaster zone to a live call with a colleague in an office via the desktop or it can take video and photos via an app which can be automatically uploaded to the workflow media hub. Measurements can also be taken by a person in the office ‘driving’ the user’s phone via the app.

Insurers can deploy the complete eviid media platform or take the verification element and embed it into existing enterprise workflow solutions providing real choice for insurers without any replacement of IT systems.


Using eviid’s verification technology, the risk of fraud is reduced, and the enterprise workflow allows an efficient claims cycle.