Washington Launches New Insurance Fraud Web Site

November 12, 2008

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is using his office’s Web site to help fight insurance fraud.

In an effort to protect consumers, the fraud section of the site has been expanded to educate people on how to recognize and avoid fraud, and to make reporting easier. It also features facts about fraud and examples of real cases.

“Insurance fraud is a widespread problem and many people never think about it or consider how it affects them,” Kreidler said. “For example, people might think that padding an insurance claim is a victimless crime, but they’re wrong. Every one of us pays more to make up for people who cheat the system.”

Insurance fraud, such as staged auto accidents and faked injuries, costs each person who buys insurance $200 to 300 every year, according to the DOI. Bogus insurance plans and dishonest agents and brokers also bilk individual victims for hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

The Web site is the latest in a series of efforts to fight insurance fraud, according to Kreidler. The office added a special investigations unit in 2007 to focus on consumer fraud and has investigators on staff dedicated to fraud by insurance agents, brokers and companies.

Information on those units also is available on the Web site at www.insurance.wa.gov. Click on “Fraud” in the left-hand navigation to select a topic.

Source: DOI

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