HBOS to use lie detectors in bid to cut insurance fraud

HBOS to use lie detectors in bid to cut insurance fraud

UK banking group HBOS is to test the use of voice-sensitive lie detector technology in a bid to cut down on fraudulent insurance claims.

The technology, developed by Digilog UK, will be trialled for a three-month period on randomly-selected callers to the bank's home insurance claims hotline. It uses voice-stress analysis to detect changes in speech patterns and searches for inconsistencies in caller accounts.

ALthough already used by some specialist firms on motor insurance claims, the HBOS trial marks the first test of the system on the wider UK household insurance market. Highway Insurance claims to have trebled the number of cases it turns down since applying the system 18 months ago.

The Association of British Insurers estimates that fraudulent claims in home and motor insurance cost the industry about £1 billion each year.

The plans have been decried by privacy campaigners such as Liberty, which believe that the technology is unproven when dealing with distressed callers. HBOS says the lie detectors will not be applied in isolation but will be used in conjunction with other tried and tested fraud detection techniques.

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