The stereotypical insurance fraud finder, hiding in the bushes with camcorder in hand, has not yet been replaced. But his job is becoming more sophisticated, thanks to a new era in fraud-fighting technology that is staying ahead of the curve created by perpetrators. Those who make a living executing fraud with technology that boggles the minds of the savviest fraud investigators are quickly learning that the coalitions of insurance companies are not taking their crimes lightly. In fact, the collaborative effort among some insurance companies is helping to blend technology and instinct into the perfect recipe for fraud prevention.

The insurance industry’s first coordinated attempt to combat insurance fraud was creating the Insurance Crime Prevention Institute in 1970. The goal of the ICPI was to investigate and seek prosecution of fraud in property and casualty claims. It later was merged with the National Automobile Theft Bureau to form what is known today as the National Insurance Crime Bureau. A few companies got off to an early start in the mid- to late-1970s by staffing in-house fraud investigators, but special investigation units really started taking shape in the early 1980s in response to the growing problem of insurance fraud. The International Association of Special Investigation Units, with more than 4,000 investigators representing some 600 insurance companies, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

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