A total of 24 individuals were charged with insurance fraud, among other related violations, after masquerading as residents of Pennsylvania so that they could capitalize on significantly cheaper rates for their auto insurance.
Gen. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania Attorney General, took charge of the capture of these alleged perpetrators which includes one Pennsylvania resident, 17 from New York and six New Jersey residents.
The crime, referred to as “rate evasion,” included collaboration of the outsiders providing fictitious personal information to the Department of Transportation of Pennsylvania State. These fake identities were used for the purpose of getting vehicle registration or PA drivers’ licenses. So that these people would be able to get insurance policies in Pennsylvania, this illegal information was used.
The Attorney General said that due to dissimilarities in coverage requirements and premiums of auto insurance, several New Jersey and New York car owners are able to save as much as $1000 to $4000 annually. They are able to accomplish this by means of falsely claiming to be Pennsylvania residents, then purchasing insurance in the state.
He added that honest drivers in Pennsylvania end up getting the short end of the stick as they suffer from increases in premium rates. This is because insurance companies will be forced to pay claims for outsiders who use false personal information as state residents.
The Attorney General also said that rate evaders, particularly their insurance claims, constitute around $12 to $15 million annually at the expense of legitimate state policy holders. On average, typical rate evaders take advantage of minimum required coverage so that they would be able to get auto insurance coverage at the lowest possible rate. In the event that an accident occurs, even if it happened in their home state, requirements for coverage for that particular state applies, thus increasing expenditures of the claim for the accident.
New York residents, according to the Insurance Research Council survey, have a higher likelihood of conceding that it is alright to make a more costly insurance claim so that payments in insurance premiums are made up for. Moreover, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said that fake/staged car accidents are 9th highest nationwide in New York. Due to these factors, the higher cost of New York car insurance claims is exacerbated.
Punishment for each of the accused includes, among others, the following: two counts of insurance fraud, a third-degree felony which requires a $15,000 fine and seven years of incarceration; and one count of false application for certificate of title or registration.