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ISSUED 1/14/2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRAUDS BUREAU SET NEW ARREST RECORD IN 2004

Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today announced that the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau established a new record for arrests (815) in 2004 while making enormous progress in the fight against no-fault auto insurance and workers’ compensation fraud.

"We are proud that our aggressive anti-fraud efforts are beginning to pay dividends in a dramatic decline in insurer losses and in lower premiums for New York’s drivers," Superintendent Serio wrote, in a letter to Governor George E. Pataki and the New York State Legislature that accompanied the issuance of the 2004 Annual Report of the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau. "I have met with a number of the largest auto writers over the past several months to discuss downward rate adjustments and several major insurers have agreed to significant rate decreases." GEICO, Nationwide, MetLife and Progressive are the auto insurers that have already announced rate reductions for 2005.

Some of the other highlights of the report, which is available on-line at http://www.ins.state.ny.us, include:

  • The number of workers’ compensation fraud-related arrests rose 41 percent in 2004, to 155 from the previous year’s 110.
  • The Frauds Bureau’s Statewide Arson Unit, established in September 2003, was instrumental in securing 62 arrests in 2004 whereas that number stood at 7 arrests over the final four months of 2003.
  • More than 95 percent of the reports of suspected insurance fraud filed with the Frauds Bureau in 2004 came from the insurance community itself (26,408 of the 27,279 originated with Departmental licensees). Breaking the numbers down even further, no-fault auto insurance fraud accounted for just over half of the 27,279 reports.

 

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