Insurancejournal.com, July 2, 2021
The New Hampshire Insurance Department has announced that it investigated and submitted for criminal prosecution a total of 18 insurance fraud cases over the past twelve months.
The cases varied in nature, but included false claims related to food poisoning, disability claims, workers’ compensation claims, buying policies after the losses and misrepresenting the date and time to get coverage, mysterious disappearance of jewelry and fake medical records.
“The primary mission of the New Hampshire Insurance Department is to protect consumers and enforce the insurance laws of the state of New Hampshire,” said Deputy Commissioner D.J. Bettencourt in a New Hampshire Insurance Department press release. “Insurance fraud is not only against the law, but it hurts consumers when fraudulent claims result in increased premiums.”
Insurance fraud occurs when a person attempts to obtain a benefit they are not entitled to or when an insurer knowingly denies someone’s legitimate claim, the department said in the release. The insurance department is typically made aware of insurance fraud against consumers when the victim contacts the Consumer Services Division. Once the department has been notified and the online consumer complaint form has been filed, the investigation begins.
Insurance companies and producers are required by law to report suspicious claims to the Insurance Fraud Unit. The Consumer Services Division (CSD) works to educate residents about insurance products, companies and producers, assist residents who request help navigating the insurance industry and work with other department staff to investigate customer grievances to ensure that licensees, including companies and producers, comply with New Hampshire insurance laws and rules.
“Even with the overwhelming obstacles like COVID, these investigators found ways to collect all the required evidence and navigate their investigations bringing many fraudsters to justice,” said Acting Fraud Director Brendhan Harris in the release. “Oftentimes, the cases are voluminous, and we appreciate the prosecuting agencies for all their dedication and hard work.”