Hartford Sues NJ Auto Fraud Ring

January 15, 2002

The Hartford has filed a civil action in Morris County State Court against 27 New Jersey residents, charging that they conspired to stage motor vehicle accidents and fake injuries to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent claims.

The lawsuit claims that, “all but one of the named defendant policyholders purchased automobile insurance from The Hartford’s subsidiary, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, through the same agent. Each paid the premium with travelers’ checks issued by the same company. Most of the insured vehicles were older models from the 1980s.”

The defendants are accused of “intentionally rear-ending cars stopped in traffic or hitting vehicles exiting parking lots or side streets with the intent of filing bodily injury and personal injury protection (PIP) claims. The suit also accuses them of feigning soft-tissue injuries to pocket the insurance money. The series of accidents occurred from the fall of 1999 through the summer of 2000 in Passaic County.

Joseph Koenig, manager of The Hartford’s Major Case Team, stated in the announcement that, “Insurance fraud hurts everyone, affecting everyone’s insurance costs.” He noted that fraud adds an estimated $200 a year to each family’s insurance premiums nationwide, and concluded that, “We at The Hartford are committed to stopping fraud whenever we find it and bringing the violators to justice.

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