The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) works diligently to prevent and detect insurance fraud and vehicle theft through various outlets. One way the Des Plaines, Ill.-based, not-for-profit organization fulfills its mission is by reviewing suspicious claims from its more than 1,000 P&C insurance member companies and self-insured organizations.

The member companies typically refer files to the NICB for closer review and investigation based on one or more indicators of fraud. This year the NICB noticed a surge in referrals spanning nearly all categories. A review of the organization’s files indicated a 20-percent increase in suspicious car fires, a 76-percent increase in questionable auto glass claims, and a 90-percent hike in product liability claims. Members referred a total of 41,619 of such “questionable” claims to NICB during the first half of 2009. This figure represented a 13-percent increase compared to the 36,743 claims received by the NICB during the same period in 2008.

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