New York's Fight Against Insurance Fraud Aided by New Insurance Rules, Says N.Y Insurance Association

Nov 04, 1999, 00:00 ET from New York Insurance Association

    ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- New insurance regulations will help
 the insurance industry fight fraud and control auto insurance costs, Bernard
 N. Bourdeau, president of the New York Insurance Association (NYIA) said
     As much as $100 million in fraudulent auto insurance claims could be
 eliminated as a result of the new regulations, according to NYIA.
     "These new rules will help close windows of opportunity for insurance
 fraud used by insurance criminals who game the auto insurance system," he
 said.  "At the same time, they protect the rights of honest New Yorkers.  The
 administration of Governor Pataki is to be applauded for promulgating
 significant changes to New York's automobile No-Fault insurance regulations."
     The regulations promulgated by the New York Insurance Department reduce
 the time frame for supplying proof of medical claims work loss and other
 expenses to 45 days from 180 days under the state's no-fault insurance law.
     They also reduce the time frame for submitting a written notice of
 accident by an injured person to 30 days from 90 days.
     "Fraud rings have taken advantage of these prolonged notification periods
 to submit bogus claims for phony medical care," said Bourdeau.
     He noted that information provided to insurers during the initial period
 after an accident is critical in guaranteeing that the appropriate medical
 treatment is delivered and unnecessary care is detected.
     "Unscrupulous medical professionals and attorneys can build up thousands
 of dollars in bills for fraudulent care well before the insurance company is
 notified of an accident," said Bourdeau.  "Cutting the time period limits the
 opportunity for these scams."
     Bourdeau also said that the new 45-day time frame for supplying proof of a
 medical claim and wage loss is ample.  Employers, for example, are required to
 notify workers compensation insurers within 48 hours of a workplace accident.
     "The new rules will make life a lot more difficult for the fraud rings
 that take advantage of loopholes in the law by giving insurers the tools they
 need to detect fraud," he said.
     The New York Insurance Association is New York's trade association of
 property/casualty insurance companies that provide insurance coverage for
 autos, homes and businesses throughout the state.

SOURCE New York Insurance Association