NAMIC Urges Vermont to Criminalize Industry Fraud

March 17, 2004

A Vermont House bill that establishes an insurance fraud law is reportedly an important weapon in strengthening a comprehensive, nationwide fight against insurance fraud. House Bill 742 arms law enforcement personnel and insurers with enhanced tools to pursue civil remedies and criminal penalties for fraudulent insurance acts.

“Taking action on insurance fraud in Vermont is important. Vermont is one of only two states, the other being Oregon, that does not have some kind of statutory provision defining insurance fraud as a crime, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB),” said Tami Stanton, NAMIC state affairs manager, in her statement supporting H.742 during yesterday’s House Committee on Commerce hearing.

“Insurance fraud is a very serious problem in this country. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that the total cost of insurance fraud in the Untied States is between $85 and $120
billion each year. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. Insurance fraud adds $200 to $300 annually to insurance premiums for the average household, according to the NICB,” explained Stanton.

NAMIC member companies underwrite 39 percent of the total property/casualty market in Vermont. They write 48 percent of the state’s automobile market (private and commercial) and 64 percent of the homeowners market.

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