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New York, May 6, 1999

NEW YORK STATE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES NEW "FRAUDS BUREAU RESOURCE CENTER" ON ITS WEBSITE

In an ongoing effort to promote consumer awareness of insurance fraud, Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today unveiled the Department’s new "Insurance Frauds Resource Center" on its website. The Frauds Resource Center at www.ins.state.ny.us is an informative resource to help consumers recognize and fight against instances of insurance fraud.

"The Frauds Resource Center is another example of how the Department encourages teamwork among New Yorkers in its fight against insurance fraud. By using our website as an educational tool and implementing simplified fraud reporting procedures, we will all reap the benefits in lower insurance premiums," said Superintendent Levin.

The Resource Center highlights how to detect insurance fraud and explains the procedures for reporting it. There is an on-line reporting form that can be downloaded. For consumers who prefer to speak directly to key personnel, a telephone directory is provided that lists the names and telephone numbers of Frauds Bureau staff to speak with in confidence. A section on "Frequently Asked Questions" provides insurers with information about the Fraud Prevention Plans they are required by regulation to develop. In addition, a statistical overview of the bureau’s 1998 accomplishments is available, as well as up-to-the-minute information on fraud cases. Consumers can also find tips on how to avoid becoming a victim, such as:

  • Call the police if you have been involved in an auto accident, document details and identities of occupants;
  • Never pay for a premium in cash. Pay by check or money order made out directly to the insurance company;
  • You should receive a copy of your insurance policy within a specific time period, if not, and your agent or broker doesn’t give you a reasonable answer, contact the Insurance Department at 1-800-342-3736; and
  • When purchasing insurance, contact the Insurance Department or visit the website at www.ins.state.ny.us to make sure the insurance company is licensed.

In 1999, investigations conducted by the Insurance Department’s Fraud Bureau have led to the arrests of over 100 people and has saved insurers and policyholders over $3.5 million.

 

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