Long gone are the days when we could watch the economy in other continents suffer while we sat immune.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) announced that Pennsylvania saw a 12 percent increase in insurance-related crimes reported to law enforcement (fraud referrals) in the first three quarters of 2012.
“Compared to the first three quarters of 2011, we’ve seen a trend of increases in the number of reported insurance crimes involving every type of insurance fraud in the Commonwealth,” said Ralph Burnham, executive director of the IFPA. “The most dramatic increase has been the 25 percent jump in reported homeowners insurance fraud. Following close behind, reported workers compensation and life and health insurance crimes both increased by 18 percent.”
Although not a leader in the increase of reported insurance crimes for this quarter, auto insurance fraud continued to account for one-half of incoming insurance fraud cases and over two-thirds of arrests and prosecutions.
“The increase in reported insurance crimes is further evidence that Pennsylvania is cracking down on insurance fraud,” said Burnham. “Law enforcement, insurers, and Pennsylvania consumers are learning that insurance fraud is a crime that impacts every insurance-paying consumer in the Commonwealth through increased rates. And they are reporting this serious crime when they see it.”
Defendants arrested and charged with insurance fraud or insurance-related crimes during the first three quarters of 2012 increased by 15 percent over the same time period in 2011. Prosecution results through the third quarter of the 2012 resulted in $2,854,416 in restitution, 57,724 in fines, and $100,210 in civil penalties ordered paid by the defendants.
Inquiries to the IFPA on insurance fraud may be addressed via email to Christine Cassel, IFPA Grants Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (717) 975-9074.
Report Insurance Fraud! A listing of law enforcement agencies that fight fraud can be found under “Reporting Insurance Fraud” at www.helpstopFRAUD.org. To report anonymously, consumers can call the tip line at 1-888-565-IFPA (4372).