New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 10/4/2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INSURANCE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES CREATION OF WTC FRAUD FIGHTING TASK FORCE TO PROTECT NEW YORKERS FROM POTENTIAL FRAUD COSTS

             Governor George E. Pataki today announced that the Insurance Department has designed a comprehensive insurance fraud-fighting plan specifically designed to combat any incidents of insurance fraud resulting from the World Trade Center tragedy.

             "Although we have currently had no reports of fraud, this is a preemptive and preventative measure," Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio said. "By creating a task force that will work closely with insurance companies to identify potential fraudulent claims, we will prevent people from taking advantage of this tragic event."

             The Insurance Department has been working closely with the industry since the events on September 11th and has designed a fraud-fighting plan to identify potential fraudulent insurance claims and to eliminate the incidences of fraud resulting from the World Trade center tragedy. This fraud-fighting plan is three-pronged. A special task force has been created, specific coding for World Trade Center insurance claims has been instituted, and a dedicated hotline and fax line for potential fraud will be operational.

             "The entire country has witnessed the immense goodwill and unity that has come on the heals of this tragedy. This compassion has been echoed by the insurance industry. It is in this spirit that the fraud-fighting plan was put in place to send a clear message that we are committed to working with the industry to prevent unnecessary costs from insurance fraud and abuse that could ultimately be passed on to all New Yorkers," added Serio.

             Under the plan, insurance company "Special Investigation Units" (SIUs) will report any suspected fraudulent claims to the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau using a distinct code. A designated frauds investigator on WTC issues will coordinate all investigations, in cooperation with the Consumer Services Bureau, into alleged fraudulent claims including property, auto, homeowners, life, and any such claims arising out of the WTC disaster. The plan is on ongoing effort and continuing conversation with company will assist in the identification, management, and coordination of fraudulent claims.

             To report a suspected fraud, please contact the Insurance Department at 1-888-FRAUD NY or fax a complaint to the dedicated fax line at 212-480-6072.


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