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Suspicious car insurance claims jumped 34 percent in Florida
By Insure.com staff

Questionable claims rose 34 percent in Florida between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2010, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The 2010 questionable claims (QC) referral reason analysis for Florida examined 22,679 claims during the three-year period. QCs, which are claims that have one or more indicators of possible fraud, are referred to the NICB by member insurance companies for closer review or investigation.

Up to seven reasons can trigger referral of a claim to the NICB. "Faked/exaggerated injury" was the leading reason for referral, followed by "staged/caused accident" and "excessive treatment."

Personal automobile policies were subject to 84 percent of all QCs during the period, followed by commercial automobile policies, homeowners policies, commercial liability policies and worker's compensation and employers liability policies.

Tampa, Miami and Orlando were the Florida cities with the greatest number of claims all three years; Tampa's claims skyrocketed during the time frame, more than tripling between 2008 and 2010, the data showed.

"Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime," said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle in a statement. "It affects all consumers who buy insurance because the money lost to fraud is recovered, in part, through higher premiums."

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