In one case the syndicate then tried to murder the victim, she said. The victim managed to escape, and the syndicate moved to plan B to buy a body and submit a claim. The claim was marked suspicious by the life company’s claims department and submitted to the forensic department for further investigation.
Investigators found the person whose life was insured was still alive.
Govender said the same syndicate has also been responsible for other fraud cases and suspicious deaths.
Fraudsters will be nabbed, said Asisa, as life insurers have sophisticated fraud detection mechanisms using artificial intelligence and data.
“The chances of being caught are extremely high and the consequence is likely to be a lengthy prison sentence,” said Govender.
Policyholders and beneficiaries received claims and benefit payments worth R522.7bn from SA life insurers in 2020.
The life industry recorded 434,216 legitimate death claims in 2020, of which more than half were for funeral policies (266,321).
There was a 27% increase in death claims last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.