Florida has been battling car insurance fraud for years. As fraudulent Florida car insurance claims continue to rise, state lawmakers are formulating and proposing new laws to curb the questionable claims. The number of suspicious claims has been steadily rising.
In 2008, the rate of fraud claims jumped up by 15%. The following year the increase was 23%. In 2010, the number continued to climb to over 7,500 claims, a big leap from the 5,300 claims in 2008.
What elements make up a questionable car insurance claim? Auto insurance companies in Florida make a report to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) where there appears to be more than one element of fraud during the claim process.
The NICB accepts these reports from all kinds of consumer insurance but at least 84% of them were car insurance claims.
Florida’s legislation has begun proposing various no-fault insurance reform options. Since the problem has gone on so long, and so publically, in Florida – no fault insurance fraud is a hot topic for lawmakers. Suggestions for improving the fraud rates include allowing car insurance companies more time to investigate questionable claims, force more documented paperwork from investigators and medical providers, and cap legal fees to make it easier to contest a suspicious claim.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation keeps a linked list of legislative changes made in the state for auto insurance.
The minimum car insurance requirements for Florida are not steep. The state only requires that drivers carry $10,000 in bodily injury for 1, $20,000 for more than one and $10,000 in property damage on each vehicle.
The state does not required that motorists purchase uninsured or underinsured coverage either. Auto insurance fraud would make more sense in a state with high insurance premiums, but Florida’s rates are comparatively high in regards to other states in the country. The state of Florida had the 5th most costly insurance rates in America in 2006. Florida legislators have stated that the fraud insurance claims are partially responsible for the higher rates in Florida. The cost of living in Florida is fairly affordable. Therefore, the cost of car insurance should be lower, not higher.
Unfortunately, changes to the insurance system in Florida have been proposed and challenged for over 15 years. The staged accidents appear to be getting more numerous instead. There have been many attempts to change the way that car insurance works in Florida but none have been successful in improving the area’s tendency to falsify insurance claims.