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Suspicious insurance claims rise in first quarter

Posted On Wed, May 18, 2011

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released a report that may prove to be bad news for policyholders.

According to the NICB, the number of questionable claims insurance companies received in the first three months of 2011 was up significantly compared to 2009 - a 23 percent rise among all insurance categories.

The jump in questionable claims was most significant in the miscellaneous category, according to the group, but workers' compensation, home insurance and casualty insurance rose as well. The only category that saw a slight decline in questionable claims was auto insurance, declining 4 percent compared to 2009.

All told, insurance companies received a total of 24,497 questionable claims in the first quarter of 2011.

Joe Wehrle, president and CEO of NICB, said he wasn't surprised to see the rate rise, particularly claims that were medically related.

"In recent years NICB has expanded its medical fraud task force operations to address the rampant fraud associated with illegitimate medical claims," said Wehrle. "I urge all Americans to help us help [insurance companies]. Don't tolerate fraud. If you suspect it, report it."

Whether it's home insurance or auto insurance, fraud winds up costing policyholders as insurers are often forced to increase premiums to pay for their losses.

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