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For years, poor public relations have hindered insurers’ fight against fraud, but that could be changing. Public awareness programs, legislative proposals, and a string of high-profile busts are not only challenging long-held misnomers but also seem to be raising social consciousness. One need only look to a recent public opinion survey for some encouragement.

According to new findings from an online Insurance Research Council (IRC) public opinion study, the number of Americans who believe it is acceptable to pad an insurance claim is, in fact, dwindling. Twenty-four percent of IRC survey respondents believe it is okay to increase an insurance claim by a small amount to make up for deductibles they are required to pay, compared to 33 percent in a 2002 telephone survey. Additionally, 18 percent believe it is acceptable to increase a claim to make up for premiums paid in previous years when they had no claims, the lowest percentage since the question was first asked in a 1981 in-home survey.

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