There are lies — and then there are statistics. Sometimes theycan be identical. The Insurance Information Institute recently sentme their latest edition of Fact Book 2005. The details are verysimilar to those in the 2002 edition, just updated a bit. Fraud,they say, is still costing the property/casualty insurance industry$29 billion (in 2003), and the entire insurance industry isshelling out “between $85 and $120 billion a year.”

So, I wondered, with all this cost of fraud (something like $600per capita), why are insurers still keeping their claim adjusterschained to their desks? According to the Fact Book 2005, only 17states even require insurers to have anti-fraud programs.

A few pages before the fraud figures is a chart showing howhousehold spending is divvied up among various categories. Housingleads the list, with 31.9 percent, transportation (autos andcommuter trains, I suppose) at 16.9 percent, food at 13.2 percent,clothing at 4.3 percent, and entertainment at 5.1 percent. Healthcare takes up 2.9 percent, and all the various types of insurancecost an average of 6.8 percent. (I must be over-insured, becauseamong life, health, long-term care, car, auto, home, floaters, andumbrella insurance, I'm running about 25 percent.)

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