In a report released Monday, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has ranked Florida as number one in the nation for insurance fraud complaints related to staged car accidents. Specifically, the NICB found that insurance companies reported exactly 3,006 suspicious auto accident claims in Florida from the years 2007 to 2009.
This ranking is especially eye-opening considering that more populous states had a much lower number of suspicious claims reported over this same period – New York with 1,680 suspicious claims (second place) and California with 1,619 suspicious claims (third place).
Why is the number of suspicious car accident claims so high for the Sunshine State?
According to experts, one reason may be the size of the state as well as existing Florida law that requires a driver’s insurance to cover a portion of their medical expenses regardless of who was at-fault for an accident. The current recession may also be driving more and more people to submit suspicious car accident claims.
Whatever the causes, insurance fraud seems to be a growing problem. Just last month, officials with Florida’s Division of Insurance Fraud worked with the NICB to arrest eight people for staging fraudulent car accidents. Over the past year, the division has made over 830 arrests related to insurance fraud.
According to the NICB, even though suspicious or fraudulent claims comprise less than one percent of all insurance claims processed annually, the costs can still be significant to insurers. This often translates into increased premiums for all policyholders.
• Florida is No. 1 for Fraudulent Insurance Complaints Tied to Staged Accidents (The Sun Sentinel)