The Word on the Week

Insurance Fraud

We have become accustomed to seeing adverts warning us to look out for those who make bogus insurance claims. They usually favour the whiplash injury which cannot be easily detected medically and can easily arise from a car crash. Settlement by the Insurer consists of a substantial cash payment for the alleged pain and suffering which usually affects a complete cure!

Not so common is the event this week where the top three officials of our largest Insurance Company were suspended following an internal audit.

Apparently there was a large increase in “bodily injury motor claims” over the last two years. It seems that these claims were met in a most generous fashion resulting in the Company’s profits being reduced by €84,000,000.

Just who were the alleged victims of these “accidents” will make interesting reading. Even allowing for the enormous awards regularly handed down by our courts (our awards are on a similar scale to the US) it would take much longer than two years to add up to this amount!

Interestingly it was not the Company Regulator but an internal auditor who brought the matter to light. The margin of solvency (the margin claims reserves exceed claims estimates) must have been breached otherwise the parent Company in the UK would not have been so ready to hand over €100,000,000 enabling them to proclaim that the margin of solvency is now well exceeded.

It is unfortunate that this inquiry has arisen in the same week as Ireland announced its exit from the “bailout”, necessitated by the banking crisis. It has spoiled the Government’s attempts to persuade the financial markets that everything has returned to normal. The sceptic might say that this is exactly what has happened and in Ireland this is the norm!

What does the Bible have to say to such matters?

Where money is involved the Bible recognises our natural desire to acquire it for the power it vests in the one who has it. Since we love to exercise power over others it is not hard to make the connection.

Writing to Timothy, St Paul puts it in his first letter chapter 6 verse 10 “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils”.

Our challenge is to drive out the love of money with a greater love. This comes when on hearing the Good News, we acknowledge our sinful condition and are introduced to a greater love – the love of Jesus who died in our place and rose from the grave to oversee the fruition of his work in the changed lives of those who now put him before the love of money etc. It was put so clearly by St John in his first letter “We love because he first loved us” 1 John chapter 4 verse 19.