More Americans are tolerant of insurance fraud today than ever before and this trend of socially “acceptable fraud” is on the rise. Ten years ago, less than 10% of U. S. Consumers thought it was ethical to inflate an insurance claim to cover the deductible or to lie on an insurance application to get a lower premium or to even file an insurance claim for damages that occurred before an insurance policy was purchased. These days, one in five Americans thinks it’s acceptable to defraud insurance companies under certain circumstances and more than three in four Americans say they’re more likely to commit insurance fraud during an economic downturn. These and other astonishing statistics can be found on the “Coalition Against Insurance Fraud” website located at www.insurancefraud.com or at www.ncib.com which is the website for the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Of course, the cost of insurance fraud will ultimately be paid by the American consumer as insurance companies will inevitably increase their premiums to cover their increased cost of fraud. This may be a major reason why insurance industry experts are forecasting an end to the so called “soft market” of insurance cost. For example, Virginia-based SNL Financial reports that both personal and commercial lines of insurance appear to be on the increase in the coming months. Most insurance companies have in place special investigative units to combat fraud, but it will take a collective effort on part of the American consumer to report suspected insurance fraud to keep the cost of insurance at fair and reasonable levels.
To report suspected insurance fraud, call the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 1-800-835-6422. Your call can be made anonymous and you could even be eligible for a reward.