A summit held at the University of Miami on the topic of insurance fraud provided those in attendance with the opportunity to exchange stories, request assistance, and talk about litigation that is directed at this rising issue.
One of the favorite examples, which was shared by Mary Lathrop, a Florida Highway Patrol Captain, involved a fender bender in the south end of the state. One of the drivers noticed that there was one fewer people in the car when the accident occurred than there were when the police arrived on the scene. Naturally, the driver was confused by this occurrence. Surveillance of the site revealed that following the collision, a bystander raced over to the vehicle and climbed inside, claiming from that point that he was suffering from a sharp pain.
This story did bring about laughs at the Auto Insurance Fraud Summit, but at the same time, it was a sorry reflection of the state of fraud in the industry which is faced by the 350 attorneys, insurance agents, and policyholders frustrated with their rate increases, who filled the room where the meeting was held.
Panelists including law enforcement, prosecutors, and elected officials put the spotlight on some far less amusing statistics, which were far from unfamiliar to those in attendance.
Among those figures were those presented by Monte Stevens, who represented the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations. He explained that rates for Personal Injury Protection – the required no-fault medical coverage for all Florida drivers – have risen by 60 to 70 percent over the last few years. In some areas, the rates have doubled.