Back to Frequent Questions
- What is Amica's Special Investigative Unit (SIU)?
- What constitutes insurance fraud?
- Who commits insurance fraud?
- How serious is the problem?
- What is Amica doing to help solve the problem?
- How can I detect an insurance fraud scheme?
- How can I help stop insurance fraud and avoid becoming a victim?
- How do I contact Amica's Fraudline or report an incident of fraud online?
Amica's Special Investigative Unit (SIU) is an investigative and informational resource that performs a number of functions. The SIU team's work includes examining claims for fraud, sponsoring training sessions for law enforcement agencies, and conducting educational presentations for community organizations.
There are a variety of methods used by people to commit insurance fraud. The most common methods include:
- Staged automobile accidents
- Fraudulent automobile thefts
- Inflated losses
- Fraudulent injury claims
- Application fraud
People who commit insurance fraud come from all walks of life regardless of their individual economic status. Perpetrators of insurance fraud range from organized groups that often target innocent policyholders simply because they "look like" they have insurance to unscrupulous medical and legal providers to the "one-timer" who inflates a legitimate loss.
The numbers speak for themselves. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), fraud costs American insurers and their policyholders $30 billion annually, which translates into about $300 in extra insurance premiums per household. We all pay for the cost of this crime through increased rates and higher prices for consumer goods and services.
Amica is one of 1,000 insurance companies that supports the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), an organization that combats insurance fraud and vehicle theft. Our continued vigilance along with our cooperative efforts with agencies such as NICB and state insurance departments has resulted in a reduction in the payment of fraudulent claims.
Some common schemes are:
- Staged automobile accidents
- Solicitation of provider service
- Parking lot schemes
- "Jump-in" passenger accident scheme
Without warning, the vehicle in front of you stops abruptly. Suddenly, you find yourself a responsible party for a rear-end collision. In some cases, this scenario may not have been an accident at all. In fact, your late model automobile may have attracted the attention of an insurance fraud criminal simply because you have auto insurance.
There have been reported instances of people who approach victims of authentic automobile accidents and solicit for the services of a particular medical or legal provider. In some states, this practice is unlawful.
While attempting to back out of a parking space in a busy mall parking lot, another automobile stops and the driver courteously waves you out. As you begin to back out of the space, the other vehicle unexpectedly appears behind you and your car impacts with the side of the other automobile. The other driver denies waving you out and later makes property damage and injury claims against your policy.
Unfortunately, you are involved in an automobile accident. As you exchange documents, you notice that he is the only person in his automobile. Several weeks later you receive notice that the two other occupants of the vehicle are claiming injury.
Taking a few simple precautions can make a world of difference for you and your insurer. When an accident occurs, take these steps:
- Call the police
- Document the accident scene
- Report accidents to your insurer
- Report schemes
Always call the police to the scene of an accident. They are trained to investigate accidents and file the necessary reports. Obtain the officer's name and report number for future reference. Activate your emergency flashers and move to a safe position until the arrival of the police. Your personal safety and that of others is of paramount importance at an accident scene.
Whenever possible make quick notes to yourself: the time, date, location of the accident, and weather conditions; the name, address, date of birth, and telephone number of the other vehicle operator; names of all passengers in the other vehicle; description of the vehicle including the make, model, color, and registration number; name, address, and telephone number of witnesses.
An accident should be reported to your insurance company as soon as possible to expedite the claims process.
If you are approached by a person who offers to include you in an insurance fraud scheme, notify the Amica SIU or your claims customer service representative.
Reducing insurance fraud is everyone's business. If you have information that may be helpful to Amica in combating insurance fraud, please call the Amica toll-free Fraudline at 1-877-407-3344 (available 24 hours a day) or complete our Online Fraud Report Form.
All calls to the Amica Fraudline or the use of the Electronic Reporting Form are completely anonymous and confidential.