Washington Bill Would Allow Insurers to Recover Fraud Losses

February 13, 2009

The Washington House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow and insurance company damaged as a result of a violation by a defendant, to sue to recover compensatory damages, including reasonable investigation expenses, cost of the suit and attorneys’ fees.

According to the bill analysis, “many of the insurance fraud cases investigated by the Office of Insurance Commissioner fraud program Special Investigation Unit are referred by insurance companies and other law enforcement agencies. …When the SIU has gathered enough evidence to warrant a criminal prosecution, the SIU gives the case to a local prosecutor or the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution. … In a criminal prosecution for any crime in which an insurance company is a victim, the insurance company is entitled to be considered a victim for the purposes of restitution ordered by the criminal court.”

The bill would allow victim insurance companies to seek restitution. But an action brought by an insurance company may not occur more than six years after the cause of action has accrued, according to the bill’s analysis.

For more information, visit http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1707&year=2009.

Source: Washington Legislature

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