RD97 - 2022 Annual Report on the Insurance Fraud Program
Insurance fraud is a widespread crime that affects us all with a heavy financial impact. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that insurance fraud costs Americans nearly $309 billion annually—and these costs do not stop with insurers. False claims against insurance companies ultimately mean increased premiums for every Virginian.
Last year alone, there were 619 insurance fraud investigations initiated, $14,700,017 in attempted insurance fraud claims filed, and $156,895 in restitution ordered.
Stamping out insurance fraud has been the mission of the Virginia State Police (VSP) Insurance Fraud Program (IFP) since its inception in 1999. Fighting insurance fraud requires a team effort—IFP special agents and analysts, members from the insurance industry, the commonwealth’s attorneys, and law enforcement partners must work together. The IFP assists local law enforcement and insurance professionals with investigations and provides support through training and continuing education programs.
The IFP continues to provide public education and outreach as well. Through multiple communication channels, the IFP informs citizens on how to identify insurance fraud, what to do if they suspect this type of crime is being committed, and ways to protect themselves from becoming victims. We were pleased to welcome new leadership to the IFP team this year—First Sergeant Peter Lazear, Insurance Fraud Program Coordinator. A 24-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, First Sergeant Lazear brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his new position.
Citizens can join law enforcement in pushing back against insurance fraud. Anyone with knowledge of suspected insurance fraud can submit a confidential tip by visiting StampOutFraud.com or calling (877) 62-FRAUD. Tips that lead to arrests can potentially earn an award of up to $25,000.
Through the years, the IFP has compiled impressive results, including 38,193 notifications received yielding 11,903 full investigations, 2,868 arrests, and over $25 million ($25,467,441) ordered in restitution. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime; it costs the average Virginia family $1,000 annually. That is why it is vital that we work together to continue to stamp out fraud in the commonwealth.
/s/ Colonel Gary T. Settle