WOODBURY, N.Y., January 11, 2010 – GEICO has initiated the filing of a series of lawsuits against defendants accused of running a caused accident ring in New York who submitted fraudulent claims to the company totaling approximately $2 million.
"Our claims team learned that many of the 'accidents' were purposely caused in order to subsequently overbill the company for medical treatments that weren't needed or were never performed," said Seth Ingall, regional vice president of GEICO's Woodbury, N.Y., office.
Nancy Pierce, vice president of GEICO claims, pointed out that there are networks of people who make their living on this type of fraud. "GEICO has a zero tolerance policy; we have our policyholder's best interest at heart and we want to protect them and their pocket books."
GEICO is working with the New York State Insurance Department's (NYSID) Frauds Bureau, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and law enforcement agencies to curb this fraud and to increase public awareness of this problem.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, no-fault fraudulent claims in New York are 111 percent higher than the U.S. average and the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that fraud against property and casualty insurers adds approximately $250 annually to the average household's premium. This fraud tax costs all of the insurance-paying public in the form of higher insurance premiums.
GEICO supports legislative proposals that are currently being advanced in Albany to combat New York's growing no-fault crisis. These proposals include support for implementing medical treatment guidelines for specific auto accident-related injuries to reduce instances of over-treatment and/or unnecessary treatments as well as proposals to implement an arbitration system to eliminate trial costs for all parties while also expediting claims resolution.
If you suspect fraud, notify your local police; call GEICO at 1-800-824-5404, x3313 or contact NICB online at www.nicb.org or by phone at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 11 million private passenger customers and insures more than 18 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
GEICO's online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.