Auto Glass Claims" Up 76 Percent, NICB Reports
September 10, 2009
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that "suspicious
auto glass claims" are up 76 percent for the first half of
2009, when compared with 2008. The NICB, which collects information
from a variety of insurance companies, says that there were 136
suspicious auto glass claims reported in the first half of 2008,
compared with 239 in the first half of 2009-up by 76 percent, the
largest increase in reasons vehicles were referred to the organization
across the board.
However, though reports of suspicious auto glass claims are up,
Frank Scafidi, a spokesperson for the organization, says this doesn't
necessarily mean fraudulent auto glass claims are up.
"These are referrals-claims that are processed by our member
companies and as they handle that claim there's something to them
that appears suspicious," he told glassBYTEs.com/AGRR
magazine. "These are not in fact cases of fraud."
Once NICB receives the reports from insurers, they do further investigation
to find out if the cases involved are actually fraudulent. However,
Scafidi said the group doesn't collect data on the percentage or
number of reported claims that turn out to be fraudulent.
Overall, a total of 41,619 "questionable claims" were
referred to NICB in the first half of 2009 compared with 36,743
received during the same period in 2008.
"While there has been modest improvement within a few categories
of referrals, the overall number of questionable claims for the
first half of 2009 is 13 percent higher than it was at this time
last year," says Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive
Wehrle adds, "We will aggressively investigate fraudulent claims
to protect our member companies and their policyholders. But all
Americans should know-whether or not they are insured by one of
our 1000-plus member companies-they benefit from our efforts as
our success over fraud helps keep insurance costs affordable."
The NICB is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Des Plaines,
Ill., which works to "prevent, detect and defeat insurance
fraud." The group receives support from approximately 1,000
property/casualty insurance companies. It also works with law enforcement
agencies "to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution
of insurance criminals."
HERE for full report from NICB.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.