The New York State Insurance Department’s embrace of on-line technology has enabled it to step up the battle against fraudulent claims, and to handle a record number of cases last year.
“The past 12-18 months have brought a sudden explosion in the number of insurance frauds reports and the Department has responded,” stated Superintendent Gregory V. Serio. “We have met the challenges caused by increased reports of fraud. Now the legislature, particularly the Assembly, must get back to work to decrease the incidence of fraud.”
A new on-line remote system, available to all insurers, allows them to report to the NYSID and cross-reference information with other reports containing common elements to better weed out fraud. Currently 20 of the largest insurers are on-line. Once a report has been transmitted to the Department, the Frauds Bureau’s database provides the insurer with information on reports that share common elements such as name or address of suspect and vehicle identification number (VIN). Also provided is the name and phone number of contacts of other insurers that have similar reports. This allows all insurers to share information and coordinate investigations, said the bulletin.
The report noted that automobile insurance fraud remains by far the largest area of concern. “The Fraud’s Bureau received 26,028 reports of insurance fraud in 2001, 58% (15, 219) in the area of no-fault alone. In 1999, there were 19,196 reports with 49% (9, 191) stemming from no-fault insurance fraud. From 1999 to 2001 there was a 66% increase in no-fault reports of insurance fraud.”
The report adds weight to the IIANY’s efforts to achieve legislative reform of New York’s no-fault automobile insurance laws in the next session of the Assembly (See IJ Website Jan. 10)
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