New York’s Insurance Superintendent Gregory V. Serio lauded yesterday’s passage in the State Senate of S.123, a bill which would create new felony crimes for insurance fraud involving “runners”.
The NYSID’s announcement called the bill “a vital component of an overall auto insurance reform package that is needed to combat fraud and reduce auto insurance premiums in New York State.” It would impose felony penalties on individuals who act as, or solicit the service of, a “runner.” The bill defines the term as including any person who obtains clients, patients or customers for health care providers and attorneys that file fraudulent insurance claims.
The NYSID indicated that, “Without this legislation the fraudulent activity of runners could be prosecuted, but no statute explicitly sanctions this insidious practice that fuels fraud rings, bilking consumers out of millions of dollars.”
Serio stated that “The passage of this bill in the Senate is an important step towards allowing consumers to feel confident that they are paying for the insurance coverage they need, not subsidizing the fraudulent activities of scam artists. The bill gives our law enforcement officers and district attorneys the much-needed tools to prosecute and convict criminals who act as “ring masters”, procuring claimants to unlawfully obtain benefits, cheat the system and steal money from honest consumers who pay the price in higher auto rates. Being able to prosecute these fraudsters will have a direct impact on the fraud rings – giving us the ability to take them off the street and put them out of business.”
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