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Experts discuss ways to avoid insurance scams

June 11, 2009 by  

Experts discuss ways to avoid insurance scamsIn these uncertain economic times, financial scams are proliferating and an industry association has offered tips on how consumers can protect themselves and their families from this type of fraud.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says the fraudsters prey particularly on those who, faced with tightening domestic budgets, are looking for ways to save on insurance costs.

Therefore, even while searching for "good deals" Americans should beware of purchasing a policy without thoroughly researching it.

"What seems too good to be true often is," says NAIC CEO Therese Vaughan, adding, "Consumers need to be extremely careful not to take a shortcut with their insurance, which in the long-term can affect the safety and security of themselves and their loved ones."

The organization stresses the first step is always to verify that the company or agent offering insurance is legitimate and licensed in the state.

Thoroughly reading the explanation of benefits is also extremely important before signing any paperwork.

NAIC also cautions Americans to be on the lookout for "hidden fraud" which happens when an employee of a legitimate insurance company acts dishonestly for personal gain. If your insurance card or any other documents fail to arrive in mail, you should contact the company as soon as possible.

Customers who suspect fraud have a range of options, including contacting state insurance department to file a complaint or completing an online form provided by the Online Fraud Reporting System.

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  • Melissa Roper

    Dear Mr. Livingston,
    Did you realize that even your auto insurance company can be ripping you off?
    First of all if you are involved in an accident and are injured, they want you to sign a form that gives them access to all your medical records and on the form it says they are not subject to HIPA. Therefore they do not have to follow those laws to protect your privacy. In addition they are required by law to run an evaluation of three automobiles in your area like your vehicle in order to find an average value to be reimursed to you for your vehicle (they no longer use Kelly Blue Book rates). The automobiles used for the evaluation must be from your area (based on zip code) and they are only allowed to use vehicles outside your area if none are available. I have found that they instead comb the state for the lowest price vehicles available and use those. People need to be wary and read all the evaluation information before settling or handing over their pink slip. Thank you for looking into this and letting the public know.

    Also, on a separate note there have been alot of e-mails that are supposedly sent by the FBI and someone named Robert Mueller III from e-mail robertmuellerIII have you heard anything about this. Unfortunately, I do not know how to go about reporting it.

  • Set

    When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, because I wasn’t a Jew.
    When they came for the Catholics, I did nothing, because I wasn’t Catholic.
    When they came for the Sick and Feeble, I did nothing, because I was neither sick nor feeble.
    When they came for the me, there was no one left to do anything.

    Is this what you are saying is happening? I believe, before you take-out over the rest of us, you do a thorough cleaning in your own house. And use plenty of disinfectant!


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