A growing number of insurance claims contained signs of fraud in the last three years, according to a new analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The number of questionable claims referred by insurers to the bureau for investigation rose to 91,730 in 2010 from 85,018 in 2009 and 74,676 in 2008--a 23 percent increase in three years. Questionable claims are those that contain at least one sign of fraud.
Five states accounted for almost half of all the suspicious claims: California, Florida, Texas, New York and Michigan. The top cities for questionable claims were New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Texas, Tampa, Fla., and Detroit, Mich. Florida had three cities in the top 10 for the number of potentially fraudulent claims: Tampa, Miami and Orlando. Florida is the only state where the bureau operates two major medical fraud task forces.
More car insurance claims were referred to fraud investigators than any other type of insurance claim. Auto insurance fraud drives up car insurance rates for all policyholders.