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Steven Richardson is a Customer Success Manager based in Canada. March is Fraud Awareness Month in Canada. We recently sat down with him to chat about his career background, how fighting fraud has evolved, and more. 

Tell us a bit about your background, and what brought you to Shift? 
I come to the insurance industry following a career in law enforcement and international investigations. I spent 25 years as a police officer in Canada and have been assigned to everything from a small 3-person detachment in rural Manitoba to a major crime team at Canada's busiest border crossing. I have conducted war crimes and crimes against humanity investigations in Syria, as well as working for the United Nations in Central Africa. 

My insurance experience consists of running an SIU team for several years for Canada’s fourth-largest health and dental carrier. While at that carrier, I became a “Shift client” as part of the CLHIA’s industry-level fraud detection project. I was very impressed with what Shift was doing within the industry and the fraud detection insights they provided. 

How do you see Shift’s solutions impacting how insurers think about fighting fraud?
In 2017, when I ran an SIU team for a health carrier, we were one of the very first teams to utilize an AI solution to identify fraud, waste, and abuse. I predicted then that in five years everybody would be using AI. We have arrived at the point where the use of AI has become table stakes in the industry. The industry has recognized that AI has progressed to the point where if you are not using AI in your fraud detection efforts, you are behind the curve.  

The impact of Shift’s solutions on insurers has been significant. Now, SIU teams can detect and prevent fraud more effectively and efficiently than ever before. With the use of Shift’s solutions, insurers can identify suspicious claims and emerging fraud patterns, which helps them to stay one step ahead of fraudsters. Shift's solutions also provide insurers with a deeper understanding of their policyholders' behaviors and activities. This can help insurers meet the needs of each policyholder.

My previous experience with the technology showed what Shift’s solutions can do. They are a game-changer and have changed the way insurers can fight fraud. 

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. How has fighting fraud evolved over your career and what are some of the major challenges you’ve faced in the fight against fraud?
With the exception of fighting fraud in the automotive industry, I don't believe that insurance fraud has changed significantly. Insurance carriers have one thing that fraudsters want: money. The easiest way to get that money is to make a claim. What has changed in the industry is that it has become increasingly digitized. We find ourselves in a place where carriers want to pay claims as fast as possible with minimum friction for their clients. That ironically has the potential of increasing risk exposure to fraud. As a result, we have that challenge for SIU teams to identify, and investigate fraud, waste, and abuse in a timely and effective manner when the goal is to pay a claim as fast as possible. So, if the industry wants to speed up the claims process, they need a concomitant effort to detect and prevent fraud. That's where the use of AI is critical to help SIU teams identify those situations that need their attention. 

What does Decisions Made Better mean to you, and why is it important?
To me, Decisions Made Better means Shift is providing the industry with the tools they need to identify and halt fraud, waste, and abuse before a fraudulent claim is paid. This is critical to the success of an SIU team. 

I am very proud as a Shift employee and as a Canadian. As someone who owns a car, and pays for car insurance, I’m very pleased to see the work being done to enhance fraud detection strategies in the insurance industry. Decisions Made Better means making a difference in people’s lives, it leads to better outcomes for everyone.