September 11, 2018, Gov. Rick Snyder issued Executive Order 2018-9, which creates an “Anti-Fraud Unit” as part of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) under the control of the Insurance Commissioner. This order was needed because Michigan has more fraud claims than all but two states, California and Texas. Each year insurance fraud costs Americans at least $80 billion a year.
What is the Michigan Insurance fraud department’s responsibility?
The Executive Order tasks the Anti-Fraud Unit with the following:
- The Anti-Fraud Unit is a criminal justice agency. The Unit has access to criminal justice information and criminal justice information systems to investigate illegal and fraudulent activity involving the Michigan Insurance Code of 1956.
- The Anti-Fraud Unit may investigate claims of criminal and fraudulent activity in the insurance market that constitutes a violation of applicable state or federal law.
- The Unit works with criminal justice agencies, local and state law enforcement, and regulatory agencies. Their mission is to promote investigation and prosecution of criminal and fraudulent activities in the insurance industry.
Types of Michigan insurance fraud include:
- Inflating your claim to get out of paying your deductible or to cover past insurance premiums.
- Destroying an automobile, home, or business to collect insurance payments.
- Billing insurance companies for services that you did not receive.
- Exaggerating the extent of an injury to collect automobile medical benefits.
Reporting Agencies to Report Michigan insurance fraud:
- Make an online report with the State of Michigan at the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services or call 800-877-0600.
- You can report suspected insurance fraud to the National Insurance Crime Bureau NICB by making an online report, or you can call the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 1-800-TEL-NICB 800.835.6422.
- The Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program rewards callers up to $1,000 for tips that lead to the arrest and binding over for trial of a suspected car thief. HEAT pays $10,000 if the tip results in the arrest and binding over for trial of suspected theft ring members and chop shop operators. The reporting number is 1-800-242-HEAT.
- Arson Control rewards up to $5,000 for people who provide info that leads to the arrest and conviction of arsons. The telephone number for reporting these crimes is 1-800-44-ARSON.
Finally, for more information on how fraud and the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association affect your insurance premiums, click on the highlighted link.