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It’s been said that California mirrors the rest of the country when it comes to insurance fraud because most fraud schemes seem to take root there first before spreading out to the rest of the country. For instance, in 2005, the state had six of its major metropolitan areas rank in the top 10 areas nationwide with the highest vehicle theft rate (Modesto, Stockton, Visalia/Porterville, Sacramento, San Diego, and Fresno).

Bodily-injury claims for excessive medical treatment in minor auto accidents also is a problem. This was documented by a study completed by the Insurance Services Office last year. It concluded that an estimated $319 and $432 million in bodily-injury liability payments each year in California were attributable to claim fraud and buildup, respectively, in 2002. That means almost one in three auto claims in the state contains some sort of fraud.

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