Consumer Knowledge of Insurance Fraud Surveys, for the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority
Since 2008, the Center has been conducting advertising effectiveness research for IFPA’s ongoing insurance fraud awareness and prevention campaign, launched in 2009. Recognizing that public awareness is critical to fraud prevention, IFPA created the campaign to inform the public about the seriousness of insurance fraud as a crime and the consequences of committing such fraud.
In designing the campaign, IFPA relied heavily on baseline research conducted by the Center in 2008. After reviewing our analysis, IFPA decided to focus the prevention campaign on educating consumers about what insurance fraud is, emphasizing that the crime is a felony in Pennsylvania. Follow-up surveys to measure the campaign’s effectiveness were conducted in 2010 and 2013. During every phase of the research, our team has collaborated closely with IFPA and their marketing partner, PPO&S, so that results provide precise and accurate data about what consumers know about insurance fraud and how their attitudes and behaviors have changed. Over the last two years, IFPA has used the 2010 data to refine the campaign and design new advertising; new components have been added to the campaign every few months.
For both the baseline and follow-up surveys, we developed assessment instruments to measure consumer knowledge of and attitudes about insurance fraud in four areas: 1) the behaviors that qualify as insurance fraud; 2) the risks and consequences of committing insurance fraud; 3) acceptance of those who commit insurance fraud; and 4) interest in learning more about insurance fraud. The instruments also assessed individuals’ likelihood of committing insurance fraud, and asked whether respondents remembered seeing or hearing any recent advertisements about insurance fraud prevention. The survey samples were created using random-digit-dialing; 1000 Pennsylvanians age 18 and older were interviewed for each survey.
The Center’s team analyzed the baseline survey data in several ways, including by demographics such as age, income, gender, and educational level. Several substantive findings about insurance fraud were identified. Most importantly, our analysis showed that consumer knowledge of what constitutes insurance fraud was scant, and few consumers understood that insurance fraud is classified as a serious crime. The data suggested that the best way to increase the proportion of citizens who would never commit insurance fraud would be to increase consumers’ understanding of what constitutes insurance fraud, along with changing their perceptions of the personal consequences of committing insurance fraud. We created comprehensive and detailed reports for IFPA and PPO&S that included narrative summaries, oral presentations, and multiple charts and graphs illustrating the data.
Analysis of the 2013 follow-up survey showed that, indeed, IFPA’s campaign is having a positive effect. For example, the number of respondents who strongly agreed that insurance fraud is a serious crime increased by 58 percent, and the number of consumers who reported an accurate understanding of how insurance fraud is classified and defined increased by 35 percent. As in 2008, the Center provided detailed written and oral reports to the IFPA and PPO&S team.