Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Fighting back against insurance fraud

Fighting back against insurance fraud in USA

Last year, Michigan residents fought back against insurance fraud. From July 1 through December calls from Michigan to a toll-free reporting number for insurance fraud increased 148 percent, compared to the same period in the last year, according to a report recently released by the Insurance Information Association of Michigan (IIAM).

The report details the results of a six-month public awareness campaign, sponsored by IIAM, aimed at deterring insurance fraud in the state.

Billboard Campaign

public awareness campaign included a billboard
The public awareness campaign included a billboard that featured a man wearing an orange prison jumpsuit with the message, "Commit Insurance Fraud. Get A New Outfit." The billboard encouraged Michigan residents to call the National Insurance Crime Bureau's toll-free reporting number, 1-800-TEL-NICB, with information about fraudulent activity. 

The NICB works with U.S., state and local law enforcement agents to identify and prosecute those individuals who profit by stealing from insurance companies and their policyholders.

In conjunction with the billboards, the campaign also included brochures, posters, a speakers bureau and public service announcements. The project was funded by the insurance industry, related organizations and associations.

Report Findings

IIAM recently released a report detailing the results of the six-month campaign effort to educate consumers about the nature and costs of this crime, as well as the consequences of committing insurance fraud. Those results include:
  • Reaching 500 people through the Insurance Anti-Fraud Speakers Bureau program;
  • Distributing nearly 65,000 brochures statewide to insurance companies, prosecutor offices, county sheriff offices and Secretary of State branches;
  • Distributing public service announcements that were aired 1,216 times on 18 different radio stations throughout the state. 
The Association also worked closely with other groups in the state to deter this type of crime. Partners in the program included HEAT® (Help Eliminate Auto Theft), Michigan Arson Prevention Committee, Michigan Sheriffs' Association and Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

Over $100 million a Year!

fraudulent fire-related insurance losses
"Each year in Michigan, it is estimated that fraudulent fire-related insurance losses total in excess of $100 million. Public education is certainly one of the keys to prevention. The Michigan State Police, Fire Marshal Division strongly endorses public education programs such as the insurance fraud awareness campaign being promoted by IIAM. 

We must all work together if we are to eliminate this costly crime," Captain Edmund Burke, State Fire Marshal, said.