Over the two year timeframe from 2009 to 2011 there was a 19 percent increase in the number of questionable claims referred to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), according to a report released today.
Its 2011 questionable claims (QC) referral reason analysis report examines six referral reason categories of claims: property, casualty, commercial, workers’ compensation, vehicle and miscellaneous referred in 2011, with those referred in 2009 and 2010.
In 2009, there were 84,407 QCs referred to NICB from its member insurance companies. In 2010, that number increased to 91,797. In 2011, that number increased again to 100,450—a record level. This represents a 9.4 percent increase from 2010 to 2011.
Questionable claims are those claims that NICB member insurance companies refer to NICB for closer review and investigation based on one or more indicators of possible fraud. A single claim may contain up to seven referral reasons.
Within the casualty category, “faked/exaggerated injury” and “excessive treatment” posted the highest number of 2011 referrals with 17,581 and 8,485 respectively.
In the workers’ compensation category, “claimant fraud” received the highest with 2,085 referrals.
In the vehicle category, “questionable vehicle theft” logged the most referrals in 2011 with 11,451 and—after posting 2,182 referrals in 2010—a 450 percent increase from 2009—“auto glass fraud” saw the steepest decline across all categories dropping to 817 referrals—a decrease of 1,365 from 2010.
“We are encouraged by the trend in auto glass questionable claims,” said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive officer. “Our efforts to publicize this problem and to make insurers, law enforcement and the American public more aware of the potential fraud in the auto glass repair arena is hopefully having an impact. As we see trends showing an increase in questionable claims in a particular segment of insurance coverage, we can focus our efforts on investigating some of those claims and putting a stop to the criminals that are taking advantage of insurers and the public.”
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