Like A Bad Neighbor.

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It always amazes us to learn that a substantial percentage ofAmericans believe it's okay to rip off their insurance company.Perhaps these are the same folks who think it's “expected” tostroll from movie to movie in a multiplex on a single ticket, orsign up for free giveaways like tee-shirts or bobblehead dolls atthe ballpark in return for a new credit card, knowing they willcancel the card when it arrives in the mail.

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In any case, insurance fraud is seen as nothing more than aminor transgression–probably added into the cost of the policies,people rationalize.

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The cost might be built in all right, but the result is higherpremiums for everyone. It's time for the industry to really hammerthat message home.

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In the latest surveys, the Insurance Research Council found that33 percent believe that it is “all right” to exaggerate insuranceclaims to make up for a deductible. In addition, 22 percent said itis acceptable to boost a claim to make up for premiums paid when noclaims were made.

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The only good news is that the percentage of those who acceptthe padding of claims has been steadily falling, but only slightly.The number of casual frauds remains way too high.

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Insurers need to keep reminding policyholders that boostingclaims beyond what is owed is a crime–and not a victimless one.People need to be told that their neighbors' casual greed raisesthe premiums of honest policyholders.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Property &Casualty/Risk & Benefits Management Edition, August 18, 2003.Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serialpublication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as anindependent work may be held by the author.


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