Cirencester Friendly Society took the brave decision to protect their members interests after suspecting a claimant of fraud, despite two separate orders from the Financial Ombudsman Service to reinstate payment to the Claimant. They instructed Oxford based James Harris Investigations (JHI), who gathered significant and overwhelming evidence to support Cirencester’s’ challenge to the veracity of the claim.
The case ended up in the High Court, where on the strength of the evidence produced, the Judge found in favour of the Society, and ordered the claimant to repay the fraudulently claimed benefits that had been paid, as well as a substantial sum towards costs.
This case, in our view, proves that despite the insurance industry’s tendency to move away from investigation and surveillance, there will always be an element of policyholder population that sees insurers as a soft touch, and attempt to defraud them. Without the conviction and determination of Paul Hudson, CEO of Cirencester Friendly Society, who acted robustly to protect the fund he cares for on behalf of the membership, this fraudulent claimant would still be sitting back receiving benefits, likely for years to come.
Surely there is still a place for professionally conducted investigation and surveillance services, on appropriately selected cases? JHI has been in this business for more than 30 years, and has a completely unblemished record. We intend to continue to go about our business of helping insurers to protect their honest policyholders against fraud.
Paul Hudson CEO of Cirencester Friendly Society said:
The Society takes non-disclosure and fraud very seriously because it can adversely impact the members of the Society who own the business and who employ me to do my best for them.
James Harris Investigations have been of invaluable assistance in gathering vital information to help the Society obtain a High Court judgement to set aside two FOS awards procured by fraud and to have them declared unenforceable by the Courts. Furthermore the comprehensive and professionally collated data enabled the Society to prove that the defendant had obtained the income protection contract by fraud and thus void it from the beginning (i.e. treat it as if it never existed).
The Society is indebted to Jim and his team for their work in achieving a fair and honest outcome for the Members of the Society
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