Auto Glass and Inflated Towing Claims On the Increase
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its third quarter 2010 questionable claims (QC) referral reason analysis. The report examines six referral reason categories of claims - property, casualty, commercial, workers’ compensation, vehicle and miscellaneous.
Vehicle QC analysis disclosed that there were more than 1,700 additional referrals for suspected auto glass fraud in the third quarter of 2010—an increase of 511 percent - when compared with the third quarter of 2009. Referrals for inflated towing and storage bills this quarter were also up by more than 200—a 103 percent rise—compared with the same quarter in 2009.
“Criminals who commit insurance fraud believe in equal opportunity - they will commit fraud anytime and anyplace they choose,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “Auto glass fraud and towing-related scams are occurring across the nation, but criminals also look for the path of least resistance, so increasingly they are choosing states like Florida and New York where ‘no-fault’ insurance provides a fertile environment for auto-related personal injury protection scams.”
According to the NICB, Central Florida is a hot bed for automotive insurance scams, including staged automobile accidents. It has a special office there that focuses its investigative resources in the area comprising metropolitan Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando. This includes the beach communities on the west coast of Florida, in Pinellas and Pasco counties, through the communities east of Orlando to Cape Canaveral and Titusville, south of Jacksonville and north of Lake Okeechobee.
Anyone with information concerning vehicle theft and insurance fraud can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or by visiting the bureau’s web site at nicb.org.