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Fraud Referrals Up 12%; Biggest Jumps in Auto Glass, Towing

NU Online News Service

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said referrals from member companies to investigate questionable claims through the third quarter were up 12 percent compared to last year.

Leading the uptick was a 511 percent increase in referrals about auto glass fraud and a doubling of referrals about questionable inflated towing bills and storage, the NICB said.

Joe Wehrle, president and chief executive officer of NICB, said fraudsters are choosing states like Florida and New York, "where no-fault insurance provides a fertile environment for auto-related personal injury protection scams."

The category with the largest amount of referrals thus far this year was questionable auto thefts, with 9,220 referrals. But that number is down 11 percent from last year, according to the report.

For the second year, referrals for questionable hail damage claims saw the largest jump under the property referral category with an 84 percent increase. Property referrals were up 15 percent overall this year over the last.

Inflated medical billing appears to be a big reason for questionable claim referral in workers' compensation and casualty. The referral reason saw the largest increase (31 percent) in workers' comp and a 29 percent jump in casualty. The top gainer in casualty was excessive treatment at 33 percent. The most referrals in casualty were due to suspected faked or exaggerated injuries, with more than 11,000, a 17 percent increase over last year.

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