The New York State Senate passed a bill that would prevent insurance fraud by making it a felony to intentionally cause a vehicle collision. The legislation, sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I, Oneonta), targets criminals who capitalize on vulnerable motorists in attempts to profit from insurance claims.
“Criminals trying to rip off the system by staging auto accidents are also putting innocent lives in jeopardy,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said. “This bill would crack down on the practice by creating tough new criminal penalties for staging car accidents, and it would have the added benefits of reducing fraud, lowering insurance costs and making our streets safer.”
The New York State Senate passed a bill that implements a recommendation of the Senate Republican Task Force on Medicaid Fraud and increases the prosecution of Medicaid waste and abuse while also bringing significant savings to the state and counties. Medicaid fraud is a significant cost to the state and this legislation (S.594), sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R, Merrick), helps increase cost recoveries by allowing the state’s Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) to assist local district attorneys in prosecutions of Medicaid provider fraud.
Senator Jack M. Martins and Michael Barry from the Insurance Information Institute discussed auto insurance fraud at an interview at WBAB. Auto insurance fraud is a problem in New York State with those engaging in fraud racking up thousands of dollars in medical bills in some cases.
Senator Martins explained that the costs that come from auto insurance fraud are ultimately being passed on to the policy holders. There are efforts in the State Senate to combat insurance fraud, which will ultimately lower premiums for all New Yorkers.
Mr. Barry articulated that common frauds include “padding,” or inflating actual claims, misrepresenting facts on an insurance application, submitting claims for injuries or damage that never occurred, and “staging” accidents.
The New York State Senate passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.