Roger Morris, Chief Communications Officer with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), says technology has been a disruptor  when it comes to insurance fraud.  Anti-theft devices have helped deter crime and provide better analytics to detect fraud.

The industry also has to contend with hackers trying to defeat the system. Mr. Morris points to electronic devices that can open and start a car remotely, which can offer criminals a way into an unlocked the vehicle. Natural catastrophes and disasters like the ones that affected the industry in 2017 and 2018 have created a tremendous opportunity for fraud, such as the “flood vehicles” on the market after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Some contractors have also been found to be taking advantage of homeowners and businesses after tropical storm damage.

Fighting fraud is a “team effort” in the insurance industry, according to Mr. Morris. Insurance companies that suspect fraud may have difficulty in getting law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminals without the assistance of the NICB, which works with law enforcement, knows how to develop a case using a database of claims submitted by insurers across the country. Companies are advised to get all the help they can get in fighting fraud.

The NICB has introduced a Geospacial Intelligence Center (http://geointel.org/) to do hi-quality high-altitude imaging, to fly over every address in the United States on an annual basis. The NICB and its Geospacial Intelligence Center are among the first organizations allowed by law enforcement to enter an area affected by a natural catastrophe. The flyover images show the “after effects” of the disaster supporting quicker claims adjusting.  Mr. Morris invites viewers to see the before and after images of recent hurricanes on the GIC website.

Consumers need to stay aware of the potential of being taken advantage of after a catastrophe. Scam artists are always trying to find ways to “get your money.” Mr. Morris suggests consumers use common sense, stay vigilant and avoid enabling “thefts of opportunity.”

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