Insurance Fraud: A Growing Problem In SC

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From fake car crashes to bogus medical bills, South Carolina leaders say insurance fraud is a growing problem in the state.

Here’s why you should care. It affects your premiums.

Today leaders discussed how to combat insurance fraud at a summit in Greenville put on by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Attorney General Alan Wilson says the state is 7th in the country for the number of staged car accidents.

“Yet we’re dead last, we’re dead last in the resources that we put there,” he told the crowd.

Wilson says bordering states spend 15 to 25 times the funds.

Successful investigations like the one that just closed against Timothy Mize, hit home the liars crime fighters are up against. The Oconee County man claimed he went blind from falling luggage on an airplane.

“He makes claims to 3 insurance agencies for $800,000 and after the investigation it was determined he was blinded by a bar fight in 1987,” said Chief Mark Keel with the SC Law Enforcement Division.

The AG’s office says it’s not just lone criminals, but fraud rings we now have to crack.

“These are people working together because they see it’s profitable. The reason it’s profitable is because there’s no one out there, or there’s not sufficient people out there trying to stop it or even find it. So that is why these rings are growing,” said Wilson.

So why should you care? The cost of fraud trickles down to your premiums, raising them by as much as 10%.

“Those losses that companies incur, if they decrease, yeah, your premium will decrease as well. It’s up to my office to make sure that the rates that are charged are accurate,” said Ray Farmer the Director of the SC Department of Insurance.

In the meantime the AG’s office is pushing for new legislation that would give the state more teeth to fight insurance fraud across county lines.

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