Big data analysis is very effective at combatting fraud, but there's more. For one, the ability to catch patterns of fraud may turn potential fraudsters away at the gate, before they even attempt to file a first notice of loss. Secondly, confidence in analytics to catch potential fraudsters will smooth and speed up the clean claims, improving customer satisfaction.

That's the word from Kim Minor, insurance industry marketing manager at IBM, who is a proponent of applying big data analytics to this leaky area of the business. In a recent podcast, she points out that up to 10 to 20 percent of claims are fraudulent.

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