According to a new report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Buffalo, New York, is home to a staggeringly high amount of questionable medical insurance claims. Second only to New York City, Buffalo adds to the states already extensive history of insurance turmoil. The report takes into account all occurrences of claims that have been found as “faked or exaggerated,” as well as instances of “excessive treatment.”
The 7,026 questionable claims were filed throughout the state last year. Buffalo accounts for 145 of those, with New York City taking the majority of 4,016. The NICB report finds that the number of such claims has increased by 10% since 2008 and suggests that the number may continue to rise.
The NICB also conducted their study on a national level, finding that the number of questionable claims throughout the nation has risen by 24% since 2008.
The majority of the claims come from automobile policies, accounting for nearly 83% of total claims in 2010. President and CEO of NICB, Joe Wehrle, says that it is imperative that the state’s insurance laws be re-evaluated and amendments be made to reduce the prevalence of fraud. Failure to stem the tide of such claims would result in higher insurance costs for the consumers as insurer attempt to mitigate losses.
The cry for insurance reform in New York State is getting louder. The NICB report is likely to add fuel to the fire, putting pressure on state legislators to take action.