|[February 17, 2014]
States building momentum in 2014 in fight against insurance fraud
WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--
Each day people commit brazen acts of insurance fraud that drive up
premiums for consumers to the tune of billions of dollars each year.
Fortunately, many legislatures and governing bodies around the country
are taking additional steps this year to help thwart fraudsters and the
crimes that drive up insurance costs, and GEICO applauds their efforts.
"GEICO puts a lot of resources into investigating and stopping staged
accidents, exaggerated injuries, inflated medical bills and other acts
of insurance fraud that inflate costs for consumers," said Nancy Pierce,
GEICO regional vice president and vice chair of the National Insurance
Crime Bureau's (NICB) Board of Governors. "That said, there's a lot that
must happen in the fight against fraud at the legislative level, so it's
encouraging to see positive momentum in that direction this year."
There are a few states in particular that have proposed notable bills in
2014 that would take significant measures to combat fraud, according to
the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud:
Colorado: Proposed legislation would raise fraud penalties to a
Maryland: The state insurance administration has backed a bill
that would give prosecutors more flexibility in where they try fraud
Michigan: A proposed bill would create a state auto-fraud
agency that would help improve the state's no-fault law, expose shady
clinics and fight fraud more efficiently.
Minnesota: A task force is examining ideas for new anti-fraud
bills, including legislation that would improve information sharing
among insurers, law enforcement and NICB, allow fraudsters to be
levied civil fines while being charged criminally and increase fraud
education efforts for residents.
New Jersey: The state is expected to evaluate three bills that
would restrict outsider access to crash reports to avoid fraudulent
victim solicitation, expand the exchange information among insurers
and NICB and make it a specific crime for drivers to lie about where
they garage their vehicles in order to lower their premiums.
New York: Among many items on the anti-fraud agenda are
potential pieces of legislation that would cut down dishonest clinics,
staged-crash gangs and fraudulent medical-equipment providers.
"While these proposals wouldn't eliminate fraud entirely in these
states, they would be significant steps in the right direction," said
Ryan West, vice president of GEICO's claims home office. "We're pleased
that state bodies across the country are putting the fight against
insurance fraud on the agenda and tryng to implement changes that would
result in lower premiums for consumers."
GEICO detects, deters and defeats insurance fraud and theft through its Special
Investigation Unit. Additional information and resources on theft
and fraud awareness are available through the NICB.
(Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire
Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger
auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in
1936, provides millions of auto
insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to
serve more than 12 million private passenger customers and insures more
than 20 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy
changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards. Policyholders
can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO
App, reach a representative over
the phone or visit a GEICO
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles,
all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs).
Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by
non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO
Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella
protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.
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