Insurance fraud seems to be on the rise when assessing the data on so-called questionable claims by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and car claims are the culprit.
In its 2013 report, the NICB said that questionable claims had increased 27 percent in the past three years. Of the various insurance types, the "personal automobile" category had the highest incidence of claims by far -- 209,724 questionable claims versus just 40,747 questionable claims for the "personal property/homeowners" category, which came in second.
The top five reasons for the questionable claims were: faked/exaggerated injury, 50,472; questionable auto/boat/heavy equipment theft, 35,508; prior loss/damage, 29,646; fictitious loss, 29,017; and suspicious theft/loss nonvehicle, 24,867. Defrauding insurance companies with fake or exaggerated claims is often cited as a reason for increasing car insurance rates.
California had the most questionable claims, followed by Florida, Texas, New York and Maryland. The top five cities with the most questionable claims encompassed those states, but didn't align directly with the state rank. The city with the most questionable claims was New York City followed by Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Baltimore.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.