North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm reminded consumers that insurance fraud affects everyone—and everyone can play a part in stopping it.
Insurance fraud is now the second most profitable crime in America, behind only illegal drug sales. It is estimated that fraud costs consumers between $400 and $700 per year in increased home and auto insurance premiums alone. Nov. 3-9 is International Fraud Awareness Week.
“The number one way to stop fraud is to report it,” Hamm said. “If you suspect you have witnessed or have been a victim of insurance fraud, please call the Department and speak to one of our investigators.”
Insurance fraud takes many forms, according to Hamm:
- In 2010, two Fargo men were charged with intentionally causing auto accidents and inflicting further damage to their vehicles to increase the value of the insurance claims.
- In 2012, a Bismarck insurance agent was charged with felony theft of property and insurance fraud after stealing more than $1 million from his elderly clients.
- Lying about mileage driven on an auto insurance policy or about a medical condition on a life insurance policy is misrepresentation. It’s also insurance fraud.
From 2001–2006, only four fraud cases were reported to the Department. That number grew to 50 in 2009. As of September 2013, 114 fraud cases have been reported to the Department this year. The amount of loss due to fraud in North Dakota was $188,047 in 2009. That amount increased to $714,104 in 2012. The Insurance Department employs two sworn peace officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance fraud.
Source: North Dakota Insurance Commissioner
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