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Insurance fraud reporting jumps 9 percent in 2013

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The Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority revealed this week that insurance fraud reports in Pennsylvania increased to an all-time high in 2013.

Reporting jumped 9 percent in 2013 versus 2012, according to the authority. There were 3,582 fraud referrals last year, with about 70 percent coming from insurance companies.

Another 879 came from consumers and 208 came from state agencies.

The referrals led to 406 arrests and 296 convictions and to more than $3.5 million in restitution payments, along with more than $730,000 in fines and penalties, according to the authority.

Half of all fraud referrals — and two-third of arrests — last year came from auto insurance fraud, the authority reported.

"The cooperation and communication of the insurance industry with Pennsylvania law enforcement has never been better," said Ralph Burnham, executive director of the authority. "Insurers' fraud reporting has doubled in Pennsylvania over the past several years, and in 2013 criminal convictions were up by 24 percent over those of 2012."

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