A Look into Insurance Fraud in the Czech Republic: Predominantly a Male Crime

There has been a significant increase in insurance fraud cases in the Czech Republic last year, with many involving claims for accidents that never happened. As Petr Kafka, the head of the investigation unit at Generali Czech Insurance, explains, “Often a doctor issues health documentation to someone else. The fraudster then rewrites the personal data in a graphics program.”

Many insurance companies have reported a rise in insurance fraud cases, often by tens of percentages. A large part of these cases involve people who inflate the actual damage. A person might suffer a real loss, and the ‘client’ merely takes advantage of the situation and overvalues the loss. This trend has been linked to the complicated economic situation of companies and households last year, possibly due to high inflation.

Kafka gives insight into the typical insurance fraudster. “It’s a person whose values are shifted elsewhere than most of the population. And it enriches itself, in this case, at the insurance company’s expense.” He further elaborates that men mainly perpetrate these crimes historically tied to motor vehicle damage.

In most cases, insurance fraud involves increasing the damage rather than inventing the entire fraud from scratch. There are cases where fraudsters invent the entire damage event without it having occurred. Business frauds, although not many, tend to report high losses, often in hundreds of thousands or even millions of crowns.

The work of an insurance detective is similar to that of a police detective, involving data analysis, fieldwork, and interaction with people. Cooperation with the police often occurs, with criminal reports being submitted or assistance provided during their investigations.