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Massachusetts looks at ways to stop organized insurance crime

Auto insurers across the country complain that claims fraud is costing them a bundle and is driving up premiums and Massachusetts is debating legislation that would strike a serious blow against the practice of insurance "running" — steering auto accident victims to crooked auto repair shops, doctors, or lawyers, and billing insurers for bogus services.

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In hearings before the senate Joint Committee on Criminal Justice, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) testified that its investigators have found a significant increase in the number of questionable auto liability and auto physical damage claims involving runner activity. Both the NICB and the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) have voiced their support for Senate Bill 2181 that would punish runners by sending them to prison for up to 2� years and/or fine them a minimum of $5,000.

 

"Insurance fraud is a serious problem, with sophisticated rings picking the pockets of both insurers and consumers," says Peter Robertson, Massachusetts counsel for the NAII. "These organized crime rings are reliant on runners to keep the business going. By striking at the most basic element of the fraud ring, this bill helps cripple the insurance crime that's driving up costs for everyone."

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