Minn. Insurance Regulator Pushes for Fraud Unit

March 26, 2004

Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson is attempting to get legislators to establish an insurance fraud prevention unit within his department, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. A bill doing just that passed the Senate Commerce Committee.

Minnesota is one of nine states that does not have such a unit, according to the Coalition Against Fraud. The Minnesota Department of Commerce regulates a host of businesses, from cigarette pricing to building contractors to insurance.

Wilson said an aggressive fraud unit might be able to lower insurance companies’ costs and put a damper on premium increases.

According to the Insurance Federation of Minnesota, fraud costs the average family $1,000 a year in auto and home insurance premiums.

The legislation Wilson is pushing would operate similarly to fraud units in many other insurance departments, with full-time investigators working as a separate police unit. Insurance companies would pay the bill, with annual fees of $400 to $4,000 depending on their size, according to the Star-Tribune.

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