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New York Insurance Fraud Laws

Posted by Molly

Insurance fraud is one of the largest white-collar crimes in America today, second only to tax evasion. New York City has the dubious distinction of having the 9th highest rate of insurance fraud cases in the nation.

In order to combat the rising number of cases, New York State has implemented a number of insurance fraud laws. First, they classified it as a crime. They spelled out very clearly in the state code what insurance fraud is. This assists law enforcement with being able to charge people with the crime, and it helps prosecutors to be able to convict the criminals in court.

Secondly, the state has put immunity statutes into place for the insurance companies. They are normally bound by privacy laws and cannot reveal any information about their clients, or else they could be sued and could possibly be found liable. However, with the immunity statutes in place, the insurers can share information among themselves, with law enforcement, the FBI, or whomever they need to in order to combat the crime of insurance fraud.

Although the state has had an insurance division since 1860, they now have a fraud bureau, whose job it is to investigate complaints of fraud. These complaints may come from consumers, agents, insurers, or outside tips. I noticed that the state also requires insurance companies to have a fraud plan in place to help fight against it, and they require photos of vehicles that are to be insured.

So the laws are tougher and technology has been continually upgraded, but insurance fraud is still a white collar crime that costs U.S. resident billions every year. In fact, some estimates say that each citizen probably pays around $200 per year extra in insurance premiums because of these crimes that are committed by others. I am sure New York state will continue to update their laws to offset insurance fraud, so please check back with us often. We’ll let you know!

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