Azerbaijani Insurers Suggest Fraud Preventing Measures

Business Materials 9 February 2008 14:32 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 9 February / Trend corr U. Ismayilova / The Azerbaijani insurance market has been actively developing since the beginning of 2000. New and professional insurance companies began appearing at the market. They offered insurance services corresponding with international standards. There are 29 insurance companies operating in Azerbaijan, and their aggregated premiums totalled AZN 150mln in 2007.

Despite the developing, the Azerbaijani insurance market, as well as insurance markets in all countries, experiences a fraud problem. For instance, according to the American organization Coalition against Insurance Fraud, since establishment of the US insurance market, clients' fraud against insurers has cost $85mln to the companies, and payments to the cheaters on property insurance amounted to $21bln.

Az Sigorta, a largest Azerbaijani company, faced a huge fraud problem. The company's Deputy Chair of Board Khayal Mammadkhanli said that a client applied to Az Sigorta, who previously had insured his car through CASCO and then crashed it in an accident. As a result of the investigation, Az Sigorta's experts and the road police revealed that had been a fraud attempt. The insured changed the number of the crashed car into the number of the one he had just insured. In a while the insurer applied to the company to receive the money for his car (AZN 35,000) and demanded AZN 5,000 for the car of the second person involved into the accident. According to Mammadkhanli, the court announced the cheaters guilty.

In addition to the voluntary types of the car insurance, there is also an obligatory type of insurance of vehicles in Azerbaijan. This policy costs the insured AZN10 ($12) and in case of car accident the Government fixed a limit for the insurance companies - AZN 1,000 ($1,200).

According to Anar Bayramov, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the A-Group insurance company, the insurance cheating is developing at the same time. "If one conducts analysis in a right way during the insurance of any customer, the cheating can be prevented," Bayramov said.

According to Jamil Malikov, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the MBASK insurance company, if cheaters are fought against, they will easily surrender. "The cases of the insurance fraud depend on the image of the company. If the company will actively fight against the cheaters and take the matter to the law enforcement agencies, the cheaters will refrain from doing it again," Malikov said.

According to Namig Khalilov, the head of the State Insurance Control of the Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan, the companies should first attentively study the customer in order to avoid the cheating. One of the key elements of the fight against the fraud is cooperation in exchange of information among the companies. "In case of suspicious insurance cases, the company will address the other companies and such team work can prevent the cases of insurance fraud," Khalilov said.