We’ve taken the reluctant decision to temporarily stop selling SCIP until such time as solicitors are provided with clear guidance on the best way to approach the problem of property fraud.
In the last few months, there have been some high-profile fraud cases which serve to prove that fraudsters are intent on developing new and innovative ways to trick innocent property owners and buyers out of significant sums of cash.
But the cases in the media represent just the tip of the iceberg. There have been 130,000 cases of identity fraud recorded since 2016, and the Land Registry admits to regularly uncovering attempts by crooks to misappropriate property for financial gain.
This has left the conveyancing profession in a state of flux about what can be done over and above the stringent checks already made by all parties involved in a transaction. Our policy, SCIP, set out to protect the homebuyer and their lender against financial loss suffered as a result of fraudulent activity. The key benefit is that, because SCIP operates on a ‘no-fault’ basis, your clients won’t have to find someone to blame; if they can demonstrate an insured loss, SCIP will reimburse them in full, without delay.
We feel it’s a product that the market needs. Fraud can have catastrophic consequences for an innocent buyer, and it can take years to fully recover financially, if at all. Insurance policies, such as SCIP, reimburse a loss suffered as a result of fraud and help victims get back on their feet in no time.
But we have only had limited success in persuading solicitors that SCIP is a product which should be recommended to clients. Many solicitors tell us they are waiting for some guidance, as well as the rulings on the pending appeals of the cases in the media, before deciding how to tackle this growing problem. As such, while there has been a small take-up of SCIP, it is simply not enough to sustain a policy that is certain to meet significant losses.
Therefore, we are temporarily suspending SCIP until such time as solicitors as a group are clear about the best way to approach the problem of property fraud. We will honour any quotes you already have, up until the expiry date.
We apologise for any inconvenience that this action causes you and sincerely hope that we can write to you again in the not too distant future to advise that our policy is once again available to help combat property fraud. If you have any questions, you can contact us on 01603 617617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.