Identity & Fraud

Unmask Identity Thieves -- Before You Insure Them

Unmask Identity Thieves -- Before You Insure Them

October 30, 2018 | Kevin Leslie

Identify Theft is on the Rise -- Costing the Insurance Industry Billions

During Halloween, children and the young-at-heart don costumes and masks to spook people with their new “identity” for the evening. Typically, no harm, no foul – save for the occasional prank.  However, in the light of day fraudsters are wearing identities that cost businesses billions every year. Identity theft is a growing threat that is wreaking havoc in industries like insurance. Fraud has long been an issue in the insurance industry, but identity theft is having an impact and serial fraud is on the rise.

According to the Insurance Information Institute(i3), the insurance industry places fraud at about 10% of the property/casualty incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses each year, which totaled approximately $34 billion per year between 2011 – 2015.[1]

Cross Reference Consumer Information with Outside Data Sources

With insurance fraud continuing to climb, the need for seamless, quick and accurate identity verification is critical. Insurers are no longer able to rely solely on consumer provided information like a Social Security number (SSN) and/or the zip code to confirm an individual’s identity.

In addition, there’s risk to storing so-called PII in CRMs because it can expose both policyholders and the carrier to data leakage or loss. Instead, stronger processes cross-reference information like social security number and zip code -- with outside data sources. For example, mobile phone data is an excellent external data source to help validate an individual’s identity.

Mobile Identity Verification is Fast and Accurate

Some consumers view their phones as another limb -- always having it within reach. In today’s always-on, super-connected digital world, the mobile device adds a layer of convenience. As a result, consumers are driving technology providers to deliver automated, self-learning and evolving applications for mobile identity verification. But these technologies need to quickly verify a person's true identity, crosschecked with a variety of outside data sources.

Solutions like InstaTouch® ID from Equifax authenticate consumer identities using multiple data sets, including mobile data. InstaTouch ID leverages data from top mobile providers and Equifax data so insurers get a more accurate ID verification.

The data supporting InstaTouch ID is constantly updated to deliver timely fraud indicators – helping carriers to reduce or eliminate serial fraud cases. Put an end to professional criminals staging auto accidents, and then running the same scam multiple times to compound claim settlements from multiple insurance companies. Fraudsters are resourceful and constantly changing their approach, so mobile device data could be one way thwart their attacks.

To learn how Equifax can help you unmask imposters, visit our website or contact us. In the meantime, Happy Halloween.


[1] View the Insurance Information Institute website at for more information

Kevin Leslie

Kevin Leslie

VP Insurance, Communications & Energy Strategy

Kevin is the VP of Insurance, Communications & Energy Strategy at Equifax. He possesses a strong curiousity and desire to help insurers, communications and energy companies transform through the effective use of data, analytics, and insights. Kevin has spent thate majority of his career in the Insurance and Telecommu[...]