IRC Survey: Exaggerated Claims Are OK

June 7, 2000

These respondents agreed that it is acceptable to increase the amount of an insurance claim by a small amount to make up for a deductible.

Nearly one in four respondents (24 percent) said that it is acceptable to increase the amount of a claim to make up for insurance premiums paid when no claims were made. The IRC has been tracking public tolerance for claims padding for many years.

The 2000 results show fewer respondents accept this type of insurance fraud than did in 1997, when the acceptance level surged. However, the percentage of Americans surveyed believing that it is all right to exaggerate a claim to make up for the deductible is higher in 2000 than in any year before 1997.

“Insurers have been making significant efforts to fight fraud,” according to Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president who heads the IRC. “While we have seen some improvement in recent years, it is still disappointing that so many Americans still see this type of insurance fraud as acceptable.”

The results contained in IRC’s recently released report, Public Attitude Monitor 2000, Issue 1, were based on a survey conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide.

The survey consisted of telephone interviews with 1,000 men and women 18 years old and older conducted in February 2000. Survey participants were selected to be representative of the population of the continental U.S.

The survey also addressed attitudes towards class action lawsuits and third party bad faith lawsuits.

For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact Elizabeth Sprinkel by phone at (610) 644-2212, ext. 7568; by fax at (610) 640-5388; or by e-mail at irc@cpcuiia.org. Or visit IRC’s Web site at www.ircweb.org . Copies of the study are available at $10 each in the U.S. ($20 elsewhere) postpaid from the Insurance Research Council, 718 Providence Rd., Malvern, Pa. 19355-0725. Phone: (610) 644-2212, ext. 7569. Fax: (610) 640-5388.

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