According to the reports of the National Insurance Crime Bureau ("NICB"), questionable insurance claims increased by 14% in 2009. However, insureds should also be on the lookout for questionable practices from insurance companies.
Progressive advertises widely in Illinois and, according to its website, is "one of the largest automobile insurance groups in the United States." However, according to The North Country Gazette, prosecutors in Staten Island, New York have charged a former Progressive Insurance Claims Specialist with "second degree grand larceny, third, fourth and fifth [degree] insurance fraud and first degree falsifying business records." The former Senior Claims Specialist with Progressive was reportedly reopening closed claims and adding additional claimants. He then issued additional settlement checks to the faked claimants.
Consumers should be on alert for a possible automobile insurance scam. According to the Illinois Department of Insurance's December 2009 Consumer Alert, some state residents have received letters purporting to be from the Illinois Department of Insurance. These letters are printed on fake Illinois Department of Insurance letterhead and falsely advise individuals that their insurance policy is cancelled and that their driver's license or license plate will be suspended within 10 days.
Should you receive one of these letters, you should contact the Illinois Department of Insurance at: (866) 445-5364, 320 W. Washington Street, Springfield, Illinois 60627.
If you believe that you have been the victim of an insurance scam, please contact us to discuss your rights.