The Insurance Administration in Maryland reports that auto insurance fraudulent activity have doubled in 2009.
Increase in car insurance fraud in Maryland is blamed chiefly to the abused use of technology and the country’s current fiscal situation. According to reports, Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) fraud division head, Carolyn Henneman, announced that as her department concluded the 2009 fiscal calendar last June 30, they received an estimated 2,600 complaints regarding auto insurance fraud. When asked if the department has the exact number of complaints received, an MIA representative said that exact figures are still unavailable as fraud data is still being assessed.
Moreover, during the latest Insurance Roundtable of Baltimore annual seminar, Carolyn Henneman is reported to have told guests that MIA averaged approximately 1,300 referrals of auto insurance fraud. According to her, a big part of the increased figures since 2008 is caused by the national recession. Reporters have cited Henneman saying that auto insurance fraud is a crime that mainly focuses on money, and when people do not have enough money they start seeing insurance policies as a form of savings – they pay premiums and at some point, they begin to feel that they are entitled to it.
The media has been having field days with many reports regarding auto insurance fraud. An increased number of fraud reports in Maryland are nothing new. The same has been going on for some time in other states, and they also blame the recession for it.
Included in Maryland’s swelling fraud trends are give ups where insured drivers who misleadingly report their vehicle stolen. Others have been caught to actually burn old vehicles just to collect money from insurance premiums.
However, car insurance policy holders have been assured that they have nothing to be afraid of because of the collective action done by state officials in Maryland to control the situation. According to reports, Maryland is one of 46 states in the US who has been actively involved in the system that allows insurance companies input concerns concerning auto insurance fraud into a secure database. Information sent by agencies is then immediately forwarded to the state fraud bureaus for quick data assessment and investigation.
According to Carolyn Henneman, MIA’s participation in Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement (WAVE) and Baltimore’s Regional Auto Theft Task Force (RATT) greatly helped in Maryland’s battle to put a stop to fraudsters who want to earn profit from auto insurance scams.
As of today, Maryland authorities are doing their best to make sure all reports are received and are properly investigated.