Schmalenbach Business Review

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 111–147 | Cite as

Can we Trust Consumers’ Survey Answers when Dealing with Insurance Fraud?

Evidence from an Experiment
  • Kerstin Fiederling
  • Jörg Schiller
  • Frauke von Bieberstein
Original Article


Consumer surveys (e. g., questionnaires, telephone surveys) are important means to measure the acceptability and willingness to commit insurance fraud as well as related influencing factors. However, for such a sensitive issue, it is unclear to what extent individuals’ stated attitudes correspond to actual behavior. We use a two-stage within-subject procedure that consists of an experiment and a questionnaire. In the experiment, participants are incentivized and have the opportunity to commit fraud by claiming losses that have not occurred or by exaggerating occurred losses. When comparing participants’ behavior in the lab experiment with their answers to a standard survey, we do not find a strong correlation between self-stated attitudes toward insurance fraud and behavior in the experiment.


Insurance Fraud Lab Experiment Survey Misreporting Contract Design 

JEL Classification

G22 C91 D1 



Financial support from the German Insurance Science Foundation (Deutscher Verein für Versicherungswissenschaft e. V.) is gratefully acknowledged, von Bieberstein also thanks the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) for the support (Grant No. 85 487). We thank Christian Biener, Glenn Harrison, Martin Nell, two anonymous referees, and the editors for their very valuable comments and the MELESSA team at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich for their support with the experiments.


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Copyright information

© Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft für Betriebswirtschaft e.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair in Insurance and Social SystemsUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Organization and HRMBernSwitzerland

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