TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Three arrests at a Fort Myers chiropractic clinic for insurance fraud are the latest results of an on-going investigation by Direct General Insurance Company and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The undercover investigation has produced over 50 arrests in Tampa Bay and Ft. Myers over the last six-months. Direct General expects more arrests in the future, but acknowledges it's a drop in the bucket in solving Florida's auto insurance fraud dilemma.
John Askins, director of Florida Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) commented on the arrests and the status of insurance fraud, "These arrests are a result of outstanding cooperation between the insurance industry and law enforcement. The public needs to know how insidious and blatant Personal-Injury-Protection insurance fraud has become in Florida," Askins said.
In May, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) announced that Florida ranked number one among states for the number of staged accidents and auto-insurance fraud. Tampa, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach and Hialeah were ranked second, fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth worst cities in the nation by NICB, respectively.
Late last week, three employees of the Fort Myers Chiropractic Center were charged with insurance fraud. The investigation alleges the three employees forged over $10,000 worth of patient treatment at the center. The dates of the alleged patient treatments conflicted with the six-week period where the patient was actually in jail for unrelated charges.
"Direct General has taken a 'zero tolerance' policy toward staged accidents and auto insurance fraud, which have reached epidemic proportions in Florida. The arrests in the Ft. Myers case show how brazen alleged perpetrators have become in breaking Florida law," said Jim Sclafani, Direct General's chief claims officer. "These arrests are very significant, but they are only treating the symptom. We need public policy remedies that will give law enforcement an edge in curtailing and dismantling these organized rings across the state."
Sclafani praised the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud for acting decisively in the Ft. Myers case. "The partnership forged between Direct General and DIF gives us a better chance to protect the public and our customers from criminals operating in Florida. We'll continue to bring perpetrators of insurance fraud to justice," said Sclafani.
About Direct General Insurance Company
Direct General Insurance Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Direct General Corporation, a Nashville, Tennessee-headquartered insurance holding company that offers non-standard personal automobile insurance, motorcycle insurance, premium financing services and other insurance and non-insurance products, all through its family of companies. Direct General Insurance Company writes and sells auto insurance policies in Florida under the Florida No-Fault Auto Insurance and Cash Register Insurance brands through nearly 100 affiliated retail storefronts statewide.
SOURCE Direct General Insurance Company