Claim challenges win top award for council

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COUNCIL chiefs have warned fraudsters that they are no “soft touch” after saving taxpayers more than £250,000 by questioning suspicious claims for trips and slips.

Calderdale Council successfully challenged 33 fraudulent insurance claims over 15 months from people seeking compensation for injuries caused on public highways.

Staff from the council and its insurers Zurich noticed similarities between the claims and apparent links between the people involved and launched legal action, overturning illegitimate claims.

Now the council and Zurich have won the counter fraud initiative of the year category in the insurance fraud awards 2012, winning praise for taking a strong lead “in an area where it isn’t easy to deflect claims”.

Councillor Bryan Smith, cabinet member for performance and resources, said £278,000 of taxpayers’ cash had been saved.

“It sends out a clear message that the council takes a tough stance on insurance claims and doesn’t just pay out unquestioningly,” he said.

“We have also demonstrated that fraud can be effectively detected and suspicious claims will be challenged.”