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10 Ways Insurance Agents Spot Fraudulent Claims

Check List of "Suspicious Loss Indicators"
Handwritten receipts for repairs can sometimes be indicators of fraud.
Handwritten receipts for repairs can sometimes be indicators of fraud.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) -- did you even know there was one? -- has developed a super-secret list of 23 "suspicious loss indicators." These are items within a claim or its circumstances that signal the claim may be fake. Bogus. A rip-off. OK, the list really isn't "super secret," but a lot of the people submitting fake claims don't realize this list exists, and that it may lead to their downfall [source: Theim].

Here are just a few of the suspicious loss indicators insurance agents look out for:

  • A claimant who's totally calm and unflustered after submitting a large claim
  • A claimant who submits handwritten receipts for repairs on a covered item
  • A claimant who adds or increases homeowners or auto insurance coverage shortly before submitting a claim
  • A fire-damage claim for a home or auto where the fire started immediately after a family argument, or shortly after family members left the home/car
  • A medical claim submitted by a seasonal employee whose job is ending

Of course, some of these scenarios can be present in legit claims. But don't worry. Insurers know they're not positive indicators of fraud -- just possible ones -- and definitely signs they should further investigate certain claims [source: Theim].

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