Increase in fraud rate may lead to increase in insurance policy interest rates


OJORF-00015413-001The 19th of April saw a couple in Woodland come forth and confess that they have been involved in insurance fraud. The District Attorney’s Office said the couple admitted to auto insurance fraud on 19th of April, a Monday. The DA’s office announced the findings of the case on Tuesday.

“Operation Cover Me”, a combined effort by five Sacramento Regional Counties along with California Department of Insurance had the case transferred to the District Attorney’s Office. On the 1st of November 2008 the case of 48 year old Jose Angel Dera Sandoval and 38 year old Maria Nuno reached the District Attorney’s Office said Lt. Dan J. Stroski.

“The purpose of this operation is to collectively investigate those cases where false information is given to an insurance company that may result in a payout on a claim for which there is no insurance,” Stroski, said from the District Attorney’s Office.

Maria Nuno’s son, a 17 year old student was moving their car out of the drive way when he collided with ongoing traffic. The 17 year old was not insured. The mother, Maia Nuno told the insurance company that she was driving on the 20th of December 2007 when the car crashed into ongoing traffic while taking her car out of the runway. Her son also told insurers a similar story. As the investigation continued there was substantial evidence to prove that Maria’s son was indeed driving the car when the accident happened and not Maria.

The mother is said to have taken the blame in order to protect her son, but insurance companies believe that fraud was an offence and the intentions of the couple, as concerned as they must have been for their son does not prevent them from facing charges.

Jeff Reisig the California District Attorney said “Fraud like this causes us all to payer higher insurance premiums.”

Stroski, who is currently running the investigation as part of the Insurance Fraud Unit said, “It is estimated by the National Insurance Crime Bureau that for every insured car in California, we pay an additional $200 a year to cover the cost of fraudulent claims.”

48 year old Jose Angel Dera Sandoval and 38 year old Maria Nuno were sentenced to a month in jail for their offence, restitution fine of $2,200, a year summary court probation and another fine of $180 by Yolo County Superior Court Judge, Paul Richardson.