Claims News Service, May 10, 11:17 a.m. EDT — The Insurance Research Council's recently released report on New York auto-injury insurance claims points to fraud as the main element in claiming behaviors.

The report examined the New York portion of a national study of 72,354 claims that closed with payment in 2002. Thirty-two insurers participated in the study, representing 58 percent of the 2002 U.S. private passenger auto insurance market. The number of closed New York personal injury protection claims in the 2002 sample totaled 1,942.

According to the IRC study, claimants from the New York City metropolitan area exhibit very different behaviors than claimants from the rest of the state. Metro-area claimants are not more seriously injured than other claimants, yet they receive significantly more medical treatment and report much higher economic losses, which pushes up costs in the auto-injury system. In 2002, economic losses reported under the PIP coverage averaged $11,508 per claimant in the New York City area, nearly three times the $3,869 average for the rest of the state.

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