Insurance fraud has many victims

Last week in a news release about two North Dakota men accused of insurance fraud, it was brought home to us just how much those kinds of crimes cost the innocent in increased insurance premiums.

First of all, the men written about in the news release have not been convicted. They are to be considered innocent, of course.

But the schemes they are alleged to have have devised are quite common, we are told.

Believe it or not, some people stage accidents so that previously damaged vehicles can yield illegal gain through falsified claims.

People involve other drivers in accidents and make it look as if it’s the victim’s fault.

Chump change, you say?

Insurance fraud, we are told, costs consumers in the U.S. between $80 billion-$120 billion each year. It is the second most profitable crime in the U.S. behind only illegal drug sales.

“People need to understand the seriousness of committing insurance fraud,” said North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread. “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime – it affects all of us. The department and our dedicated investigators are diligently looking for crimes of this nature and investigating them rigorously. Individuals in North Dakota will not get away with committing insurance fraud with the work the department is doing and the strong partnerships we have with our county state’s attorneys across the state.”

And with your help.

– Deliberate attempts to stage an accident, injury, theft, arson or other type of loss that would be covered under an insurance policy (ie. setting fire to your home).

– Exaggerating a legitimate claim (ie. doubling the value of stolen jewelry).

– Knowingly omitting or providing false information on an insurance policy application (ie. purchasing a policy for a previously damaged vehicle and omitting the damage in the application to file a claim later).

These are all examples of insurance fraud that should be reported – if you are aware of such practices.

Firefighters can’t save a house from burning if nobody sounds the alarm…It’s not that much different when it comes to fighting crime.

See something, say something.

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