22 Cases of Insurance Fraud Represent Nearly $283,000 in Fraudulent Claims
A record high number of insurance fraud claims were referred by the New Hampshire Insurance Department (“NHID”) to the state and federal authorities during Fiscal Year 2022. The number represents the most insurance fraud cases ever forwarded for prosecution in a single calendar year. Typically, the NHID receives 25 fraud referrals a month on average. Of those, only 12% eventually become an “open case”.
“Insurance fraud is a serious crime, and New Hampshire prosecutes cases of fraud over $1,000 as felonies. With the rising costs of automobile repairs, for example, the threshold for a felony insurance fraud charge is very low,” said Brendhan Harris, Fraud Investigator-In-Charge at the NHID. “Working together with state and federal prosecutors, we can send a message to fraudsters letting them know we have zero tolerance for insurance fraud in New Hampshire.
The year 2022, however, has been different. According to the NHID, the department had 298 referrals involving insurance fraud resulting in 37 “open cases.” Ultimately, the Department forwarded a total of 22 claims for prosecution, with 18 of the 22 fraud claims involving Auto Insurance. The remaining four claims comprised two Workers’ Compensation claims, along with one Homeowners Insurance and one Disability Insurance claim each. In total, the NHID says the 22 claims totaled approximately $238,000 in fraudulent claims.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” said Christopher Nicolopoulos, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Insurance Department. “Insurance fraud hurts everyone by driving up costs for all consumers and undermining confidence in the marketplace.”
Pursuant to New Hampshire’s statutes, all licensed insurers and producers in New Hampshire must report to NHID all suspected instances of insurance fraud or insurance-related criminal.