Iowa’s insurance division will start releasing information on cases itprosecutes. While the investigations have been kept secret in the past,spokesman Scott Kinney says insurance fraud costs Iowans a billionand-a-half dollars a year. That’s $1600 for every family. Kinney says whenthe holder of an insurance policy considers claiming losses that aren’t trueor inflating an injury to get more money, they should remember thatnot-so-hidden cost. The agency gets about 300 referrals a year which turn upfraudulent claims. In addition to consumers trying to collect unfairly on ahome or personal insurance policy, the department investigates companies andhealth care providers. Kinney says Iowa’s insurance division is seeing fastgrowth in fraud “rings.” People move into the state, get a post-office boxand cellphone to establish what looks like residency, then fake an accident.They stage auto theft, do arson-for-profit, even fake deaths, and somedoctors help these people who seem to think an insurance company somehowowes them. The insurance division’s recently filed charges against a coupleaccused of setting their Waukee home on fire and a woman who claimedproperty had been stolen, after it actually had been repossessed.
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