RICHMOND, Va. (PRWEB) May 08, 2013
Recognizing the impact that the crime of insurance fraud has on the citizens of Virginia, as well as the efforts of the Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program (IFP) to “Stamp Out Fraud,” Gov. Robert F. McDonnell proclaimed May 12-18, 2013, as “Insurance Fraud Awareness Week” in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Ranked second behind tax evasion as the most common and costly white-collar crime in the United States, insurance fraud costs the economy almost $85 billion a year according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. In Virginia, citizens may pay between $200 and $1,000 per year in additional insurance premiums and as much as $1,000 more each year for the cost of goods and services due to the negative economic impact of fraudulent insurance claims.
Insurance fraud comes in many forms and can be committed by anyone – professional fraudsters and criminals, policyholders who submit fake or exaggerated claims, or insurance professionals who take advantage of the unwary policyholder is expecting.
Since 1999, when the IFP was established as a unit in the Department of State Police, more than 19,000 suspected incidences of insurance fraud have been reported to the IFP, resulting in almost 2,500 arrests and $18 million in court-ordered restitution.
“Insurance Fraud Awareness Week” is an annual event designed to raise community awareness of insurance fraud, create more widespread public knowledge of the IFP and its purpose, and educate Virginia citizens in the prevention and reporting of insurance fraud.
The Virginia State Police is committed to “Stamping Out” insurance fraud occurring in the commonwealth. If citizens have knowledge of a fraudulent insurance scheme or suspect they may have been the victim of insurance fraud, they are encouraged to report the activity to the IFP on the toll-free hotline at 1-877-62FRAUD (1-877-623-7283) or at http://www.StampOutFraud.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and a reward up to $25,000 is available for tips leading to an arrest for the crime of insurance fraud.
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(Editors: The copy below can be run as a sidebar or separately.)
TIPS FOR FIGHTING INSURANCE FRAUD
FROM THE VIRGINIA STATE POLICE INSURANCE FRAUD PROGRAM
Insurance fraud comes in all shapes and sizes – from organized rings staging crashes that result in losses to insurance companies in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to individuals padding their claims for a couple hundred bucks. Chances are you have insurance to cover losses to your vehicle and home. You may never expect to suffer any losses, but in the event you need to make a claim with your insurance company, here are a few steps to protect yourself against fraud.
In the event you have to make a claim, by taking a few proactive steps, the claims process will go smoother and faster, and your settlement will probably be fairer. And remember, when making a claim, don’t include any past damage or exaggerate your claim. Also, be aware of attempts to convince you that "everybody is getting rich" so you may as well try to get additional money also. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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