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].