Skip to Main Content

Who Commits Insurance Fraud, part 2: What motivates insurance fraud?

The prevalence of insurance fraud raises important questions about its status as a criminal act. In a recent study we conducted jointly with the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, we delved deeper into perceptions and attitudes toward insurance fraud. This article is the second in the “Who Commits Insurance Fraud” series that touches specifically on one aspect of the study: Understanding the motivation to commit fraud.

Among the youngest age group (18-24 years old), 26.56% expressed feelings of envy and motivation to commit insurance fraud.

The disconnect: lack of awareness

When we asked participants if they knew someone who had committed insurance fraud, 45.05% claimed not to know anyone involved in such acts, while 54.95% of respondents admitted to knowing someone who had committed insurance fraud. This indicates a significant disconnect between people's perception of insurance fraud and the reality that, more often than not, individuals close to them engage in these illegal activities.

Warning indicators of a younger, motivated generation

Aligning with our expectations, the highest percentage of respondents who knew someone involved in insurance fraud was not from the older age groups. Instead, respondents aged 44 and below showed the highest awareness of individuals engaged in insurance fraud.

Within the age groups below 44, every category recorded more than one-third of respondents stating they did not know someone involved in insurance fraud. The spread among these respondents for any age group is relatively minor, ranging from 34.83% to 36.10%. However, the gap between the age group least aware of insurance fraudsters (65+) and the age group most aware (35-44 years) is substantial, accounting for 23.58%, nearly a quarter of all responses.

Envy and motivation to commit fraud

Overall, more than 10% of respondents who knew someone involved in insurance fraud admitted that knowing that person made them “envious” and “motivated to try it” themselves. Furthermore, analyzing the age breakdown unveils a disconcerting trend:

  • Among the youngest age group (18-24 years old), 26.56% expressed feelings of envy and motivation to commit insurance fraud.
  • This percentage remained high in the next age group (25-34 years old) at 25.27%, gradually decreasing to 20.60% for the 35-44 age group.
  • Starting from age 45, the acceptance rate for envy and motivation drops significantly, ranging from 6.25% (45-54 years) to a mere 1.59% for those over age 65. Nearly 17 times as many people in the youngest age group felt envious and/or motivated, compared to the oldest age group.

Analyzing responses in this study is far easier than accurately predicting what impact such feelings and motivations will have on insurance fraud in years to come. Accurately predicting the long-term impact of insurance fraud remains challenging.

As mentioned above, the study findings highlight a concerning acceptance of insurance fraud, particularly among younger generations. It is imperative that we address this issue promptly to safeguard the integrity of the insurance industry and protect honest policyholders from the financial repercussions of insurance fraud. Targeting anti-fraud messaging to younger consumers, emphasizing the financial impact and the need to report such actions, may prove effective in curbing this trend.

With insurance fraud so widespread—and rationalized—identifying and fighting it has never been more crucial. Learn how ClaimSearch leverages over 1.7 billion claims to detect insurance fraud.

Statistics used in this article were pulled from the “Who, Me?” study conducted jointly by Verisk and the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

Interested in learning more? Watch the videos and gain insight into the perceptions respondents have on committing insurance fraud.

1. Are you affected by fraud?

2. Motivation to commit fraud

3. Auto damage results

Catch up on the full series here:

1. Who Commits Insurance Fraud, part 1: "But is insurance fraud even a crime?"

2. Who Commits Insurance Fraud, part 3: Which generation is most likely to commit fraud

Learn how ClaimSearch leverages over 1.7 billion claims to detect insurance fraud.

Tom Donahue

Tom Donahue is the Vice President of SIU Engagement. As Vice President of SIU Engagement for the Verisk Claims Solutions Group, Tom leads our SIU industry relations strategy, along with the planning and execution of the Insurance Fraud Management (IFM) Conference, advisory group meetings and other industry events. You can contact him at

You might also like

Visualize Subscribe

Get the best of Visualize!

Get the latest news and insights straight to your inbox.

Subscribe now

You will soon be redirected to the 3E website. If the page has not redirected, please visit the 3E site here. Please visit our newsroom to learn more about this agreement: Verisk Announces Sale of 3E Business to New Mountain Capital.