Fighting Insurance Crimes & Arson

Insurance Fraud & Arson means higher costs for consumers

The crime of Insurance fraud – like filing false claims, “padding” claims or causing intentional property damage – adds as much as $700 to the average family’s insurance premiums each year. Based on studies, 10 percent or more of property/casualty insurance claims are fraudulent, costing insurers (and consumers) about $34 billion annually.

Some examples of insurance fraud include:

  • Staging vehicle accidents complete with fake injuries to collect disability, workers compensation or personal injury settlements.
  • Purchasing an auto insurance policy AFTER damage is done to a previously-uninsured vehicle, then filing a claim.
  • Adding non-existent items to a fire or theft loss claim (“padding”).
  • Intentionally setting fire to one’s own home, business or property to collect on the insurance claim.
  • As a health provider, falsifying medical reports and examinations to collect on a patient’s personal injury claim.

Currently, all but two states (Oregon and Virginia) have specific insurance fraud laws (though it is illegal in all 50 states). If you suspect insurance fraud has taken place, you can report it to your local FBI office. You may also visit the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) website to submit an anonymous tip online or call 800-TEL-NICB.

Arson is a dangerous problem for NW communities. NW Insurance Council is a member of the Arson Alarm Foundation (AAF). Based in Seattle, the AAF works to raise awareness about arson fires and offers awards for the arrest and/or conviction of arsonists in Washington State.

Use these links to find out more and see what insurers, regulators and law enforcement agencies are doing to combat insurance crimes and arson:

Arson Alarm Foundation
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Insurance Information Institute
Insurance Research Council
National Association of Insurance Commissioners 
National Insurance Crime Bureau

Information provided by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud and Insurance Information Institute – January 2018