Insurance Frauds Spike in New York

March 23, 2010

What do a pizza maker, insurance underwriter and a podiatrist have in common? In New York, at least, they were among the 499 people convicted of insurance fraud last year, according to the state’s insurance department, amid a troubling spike in that particular crime.

In all, New York saw a 24 percent jump in insurance fraud convictions last year,

“Insurance fraud is on the upswing and fighting this crime is among the Insurance Department’s highest priorities,” Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn said. “The Department is committed to working closely with local authorities to investigate and prosecute these cases. Insurance fraud is serious because it unnecessarily drives up the cost of insurance for honest New Yorkers,”

The annual report shows sharp increases in virtually all of the areas under the state Frauds Bureau’s responsibility, which investigates insurance-related crime. Among the details of the report:

  • There were 738 arrests in 2009, down slightly than the 755 arrests in 2008.
  • The Bureau received 24,920 reports of suspected fraud, an increase of more than 8 percent.
  • A total of 1,707 new cases were opened for investigation, up nearly 25 percent.
  • There were 184 arrests for workers’ compensation fraud, up 16 percent.

The report is available from the Insurance Department’s Web site.

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