Minnesota lawmakers announced legislation that will take critical steps to reduce and eliminate insurance fraud. The state has been targeted recently by out-of-state organized criminal rings that have moved there, specifically to engage in insurance fraud.
Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and in fact, costs the average Minnesota family more than $1,400 a year in higher insurance premiums.
NICB’s Legislative Advocacy Department works with NICB member companies, property/casualty insurance trade groups and other anti-fraud organizations to (a) assist in forming legislation and regulations that affect insurance fraud and vehicle theft, (b.) track fraud and theft legislation, and (c.) promote a strong anti-fraud environment nationwide.
Just a few short months ago, our advocacy team exhibited at the NCSL Legislative Summit 2011 in San Antonio, TX. Taking place each summer and with an average attendance of nearly 6,000, the Legislative Summit is the largest gathering of state lawmakers in the nation. For those of you who don’t know about this gathering or about the importance of the discussions that take place there, we discuss laws relating to information sharing and immunity protections, funding for dedicated prosecutors and resources to prevent and prosecute insurance fraud. We met Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Strauss who stopped by our booth to talk about fraud issues affecting the state of Texas. We also talked with other legislators from around the country. Regardless of where these lawmakers were from, we all shared common stories of our ongoing challenges. Much focus has been placed on no-fault states, a system of automobile insurance where the payment of compensation comes from the victim’s own insurance company. No-fault insurance may be an easy mark for fraud, and the challenge is how to deal with potential issues.
What’s next for us? We’ll continue to engage state insurance regulators and lawmakers at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), whose respective groups meet in various cities around the country during the year. As the primary insurance regulators, states continue to struggle with balancing budgets, protecting consumers and ensuring their states have effective anti-fraud controls in place. We’ll continue to lead and participate in these discussions to assist lawmakers assess their state’s anti-fraud environment. For more information about Legislative Advocacy or to learn more about NICB’s departments, visit us online at www.nicb.org.