Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud on Rise reports Ethan Andrew Kosmin
(EMAILWIRE.COM, March 09, 2013 ) San Francisco, CA -- The reports of insurance fraud are on the upswing in Pennsylvania, as the state has seen a 5% rise from 2011-2012. The change is thanks in large part to a joint effort by insurance companies, state agencies, and consumer actions, according to Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority. Prosecutions have resulted in over $3.4 million in restitution, penalties, and fines.
The IFPA has provided grants to nearly a dozen enforcement agencies to analyze data provided by the agency on auto, health, and homeowners compensation fraud.
Of the over 3,200 frauds referrals that were seen by law enforcement over the year, 2,302 come from insurers. Another 240 fraud referrals from state agencies, while 732 came directly from consumers themselves.
That made the consumer account total 22% of all referrals noted.
As a result of the outreach weve been doing through television and public relations consumers recognized when someone they knew was committing insurance fraud and they reported it, said Ralph Burnham, IFPA executive director. Educated consumers who take action like this are one of the industrys best tools for fighting this crime in the Commonwealth.
Within the fiscal year of 2012, the total of referrals reported by insurers doubled from those from 2008. The result of all reported insurance fraud, Pennsylvania 77% increases in their incoming workload as compared to the 2008 fiscal year.
Most investigations that were opened in 2012 were related to auto insurance fraud. That said, the industry noted increases in new investigations opened for all options including commercial, homeowners, and healthcare sectors.
The IFPA grantees reported and arrested over 400 offenders, with 69% of the arrests involved in auto insurance fraud. From the prosecutions, defendants were ordered to pay $3,177,496 in overall restitution, while $75,348 were collected in fine, and another $130,860 were received in penalties.