The accelerating popularity of price comparison websites (PCWs) in the UK insurance market – also called aggregators – is putting more control and choice in the hands of consumers. However, this is also opening up a new realm of possibilities for fraudsters.
Because PCWs can obtain quotes from multiple insurers in just one search, fraudsters and bots can submit hundreds of applications with slight variations to identify and resell “too-good-to-be-true” insurance plans as ghost brokers, purchase multiple policies before orchestrating accidents for claims fraud, or use the data they extract for competitive intelligence.
Until now, the anti-fraud efforts of insurers have often been limited to at sale or post sale checks and validation. As the PCW has the first contact with the customer, insurers are limited to accepting a quote simply based on the information in the application and very few have the ability to apply fraud protections before a quote is submitted.
Leading the Insurance Industry
“The insurance industry has been calling out for comparison websites to step up and implement antifraud measures that stop fraudsters,” says Jon Morrell, CEO of Gocompare.com. “We consider it our duty to step in and help fight fraud where we can.”
Due to the competitiveness of the PCW market, it is very important that Gocompare continually work to maintain the confidence of its insurer partners by ensuring that the customers being passed on to them are of the highest quality. And this is precisely what they accomplished.
In October of 2015, Gocompare.com was recognized by one of the UK insurance industry’s most prestigious publications, Post Magazine, picking up an award at the magazine’s Insurance Fraud Awards for its point-of-quote fraud detection and prevention service.
Before implementing iovation and earning that recognition, Gocompare.com had developed an in-house process for detecting fraudsters and bots.
“We logged internal cases of what we believed could be related to fraud, but nothing was confirmed since the fraud wasn’t perpetrated against us,” says Dan Cassell, Gocompare.com’s fraud consultant. “Historically, insurers hadn’t shared fraud data with us, so it was difficult for us to know which applicants we should be wary of in the future.”
In addition, Gocompare.com’s in-house fraud database heavily relied upon insurance risk data, including personally identifiable information such as an email address, all of which could be manipulated easily.
A Powerful, Flexible Fraud Prevention Solution
Gocompare.com recognized a clear opportunity to better serve its insurance partners by implementing iovation’s device recognition technology at point-of-quote. While Gocompare.com will not make a decision on behalf of their many Partners about fraud, they can now offer a service to automatically block devices recognized for past fraudulent behavior and high risk applicants.
- The unique value of iovation’s Global Device Intelligence Platform draws on several factors:
- When any iovation user encounters fraud from a device used on their site, specific evidence of that fraud against the device is placed in iovation’s database.
- When that device goes to any other digital property (website or mobile app) that is protected by iovation, its reputation precedes it with a configurable, real-time alert.
- iovation queries more than 100 device attributes to help recognize suspicious behavior, based on the history of more than 5 billion devices across the Internet.
- By leveraging iovation’s flexible business rules, businesses can control precisely how each recognized device will be treated.
“When we were considering how to bolster our fraud detection and prevention capabilities, iovation’s technical sophistication, ease of use, and speed of implementation were of paramount importance,” says Morrell. “Together, we have created an antifraud system that works within the PCW model where huge volumes of quotes are processed at high speed by numerous parties, and requires no additional implementation for our insurance partners.”
“iovation’s implementation was one of the quickest and easiest projects I’ve been involved in,” says Cassell. “We saw results from the first day. I can see why a number of our partners have begun to explore how iovation would pay off for their own use. Once it’s on, you don’t want to turn it off.”
While Gocompare.com wasn’t making the decision to block high risk traffic, they were instead adding rich intelligence to each application designed to help insurers evaluate risk. For example, they could now recognize if a specific device had been used to create a large number of applications, or if a device had been associated with fraud by another contributor in iovation’s global device network.
Maximum Flexibility for Insurers
For insurance partners who are also iovation subscribers, Gocompare.com delivers even more value. By using the insurer’s device blacklist, Gocompare.com can prevent that partner from appearing on search queries made by banned devices. The same is true for blacklisted proxies, IP addresses, and dozens of other variables.
“For existing iovation clients, we can take on some of the fraud work at the point of quote that they’d otherwise be doing at the back end. We stop them from quoting to known bad devices,” says Cassell. “We raise evidence in iovation for partners to make more informed decisions. We can do this on a per-partner basis, as we don’t want to impact their respective sales processes. They can decide for themselves whether to block the applications we flag.”
Gocompare.com’s insurance partners who are not iovation subscribers also benefit. Gocompare.com automatically recognizes and denies devices attempting to collect a high volume of quotes. When devices have been recognized as repeatedly misusing the website, Gocompare.com simply shuts out the device permanently.
Since May 2015, iovation has enabled Gocompare.com to block thousands of fraudulent quote requests from obtaining quotes and policies from their insurance partners.
The Power of Shared Device Intelligence
“Data sharing is the biggest thing that’s going to help the insurance industry fight fraud,” says Cassell. “When different partners add evidence to iovation’s device intelligence network, the total result is more visibility into larger fraud rings than any one partner might uncover alone. Even evidence coming from users in other industries helps. iovation’s unique device ID makes it easy for everyone in the network to unite against fraud. That isn’t the case with other products in the device recognition space.”
“We’re proud to be blazing a trail in the comparison website sector,” says Morrell. “Our solution has been proven to identify fraud well before an insurer or broker is able to, and has yielded results that will reduce fraud significantly in a short space of time.”