Volume 3 Number 39
September 25, 2006

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GALLAGHER ENFORCES TOUGHER FRAUD REPORTING BY FLORIDA’S INSURANCE COMPANIES

Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced that the department has ratcheted up its fight against insurance fraud by requiring insurance companies to better document their own in-house fraud fighting efforts.

Noting that the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) is consistently recognized as leading the nation in insurance fraud arrests and convictions, Gallagher said the next step was to ensure any information about suspected fraud is promptly reported.

“Floridians are facing an insurance crisis that is being driven by a number of factors,” Gallagher said. “We are determined to do all we can to keep costs down for Floridians and that is why we are requiring greater accountability from insurers and companies in reporting fraud.”

The department’s aggressive fight against workers’ compensation and auto insurance fraud has led to lower rates in recent years, including a more than 30-percent decrease in workers’ compensation rates in the last three years. A fourth consecutive rate drop is pending.

Gallagher called for the new rule more than a year ago to require all property and casualty, life and health insurers, and health maintenance organizations (HMO) licensed to do business in Florida to:

• Refer fraudulent claims directly and electronically to DIF;

• Track the date that suspected fraudulent activity is detected and the date it is reported to DIF;

• Detail the process they have in place for identifying and referring suspicious claims; and

• Establish minimum standards for training employees in anti-fraud efforts.

In the last fiscal year that ended June 30, the fraud division made 795 arrests and garnered 620 convictions. The new rule is effective October 5.

“We need to continue aggressively rooting out fraud that financially impacts Florida’s families,” Gallagher said.