"Suspicious 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 officer.

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."

CLICK HERE for full report from NICB.

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