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Insurance companies are getting ripped off on HVAC claims, study says
By Insure.com staff

Insurers overpaid claims for damaged heating ventilation and air conditioning units by 65 percent in the first half of 2011, according to an analysis by HVAC Investigators, which conducts HVAC assessments for insurance companies.

HVAC Investigators says overpayment was a result of insurance companies paying for the replacement of entire HVAC systems when only minor, less-expensive repairs were required.

Homeowners become unwitting participants in insurance fraud when dishonest contractors recommend unnecessary and expensive replacement projects.

HVAC Investigators relies on a nationwide network of local technicians that diagnose components within HVAC systems to determine the cause of damage, whether or not the unit should be repaired or replaced and recommend settlements for insurance companies.

"We realized several years ago that the HVAC property claims were on a dangerous trajectory, and fraud was taking its toll," Damon Stafford of HVAC Investigators said in a company press release. "When carriers understand that they can save, on average, somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000 per claim, they begin to grasp that this is something they should be paying attention to."

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