Fraud is a constant concern for insurers, and a new report shows that insurers have good reason to be concerned. Theft of information and electronic data at global companies, insurers included, has overtaken physical theft for the first time, according to the latest edition of the Kroll Annual Global Fraud Report. This year’s study shows that the amount lost by businesses to fraud rose from $1.4m to $1.7m per billion dollars of sales in the past 12 months—an increase of more than 20%.

Kroll commissioned The Economist Intelligence Unit to conduct a worldwide survey on fraud and its effect on business during 2010. A total of 801 senior executives took part in this survey. Nearly a third (29%) of the respondents were based in North America, 25% in Europe, just under a quarter from Asia-Pacific region and 11% each from Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. Ten industries were covered, with no fewer than 50 respondents drawn from each industry. The highest number of respondents came from the financial services industry (13%), some of that representing insurance.

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