Industry Reacts to Insurance Fraud Statistics
September 11, 2009

A recently released study from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) about suspicious claims it has received in the first half of 2009 has drawn concern from some in the industry-particularly with reference to the suspicious auto glass claims included in the report. NICB reported earlier this week that suspicious auto glass claims are up by 76 percent over the first half of 2008. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

One industry representative who has expressed concern about the statistics is attorney Chuck Lloyd, who has represented a number of auto glass shops and writes a column for AGRR magazine.

"While the 76 percent jump looks startling, some perspective is really needed," Lloyd says. "Suspicious auto glass claims make up only 0.574 percent of all reported suspicious claims. One half of one percent doesn't even qualify as a drop in the bucket."

Lloyd also points out that 239 suspicious auto glass claims is such a small percentage of all auto glass claims received that he believes it's a compliment to the industry.

"If one were to compare 239 suspected fraudulent claims with the total number of glass claims submitted for the first half of 2009, the percentage of suspicious claims to non-suspicious claims would be even smaller," Lloyd says. "Of course, those would be only suspicious claims. Actual fraudulent claims would be fewer still. In other words, the auto glass industry looks very, very clean when it comes to the touchy subject of insurance fraud."

NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi conducted a follow-up interview with glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine regarding the industry response, and advised again that the "suspicious claims" are not necessarily fraudulent-they're claims in which the claims adjuster noticed something that didn't seem quite right.

"Something about that claim, whether it's the insured person involved or the shop involved, it's something on that claim [that] seemed off to the person processing the claim," he says. "These are just initial referrals. These are not conclusive cases of fraud by anyone."

Scafidi also pointed out that reports like this one aren't meant to reflect on the entire industry.

"You've got the overwhelming majority of shops that do honest work, and it only takes one or two knuckleheads to sour the pool," he says. "There's always that small percentage that doesn't [do the right thing] and those are the ones we try to isolate."

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