If you think that insurance fraud is a crime that’s easy to get away with, the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Authority wants you to know:  It’s not a matter of if we catch you, but when.

As part of its ongoing “Know The Risks, Know The Penalties” public education campaign, the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) has launched a new television ad that highlights the role of insurance fraud investigators and their familiarity with insurance fraud schemes. 

“Over the last five years, Pennsylvania’s insurance fraud investigators have made more than 2,200 arrests, with convictions resulting for more than 1,000 individuals. Perpetrators have paid a total $15.5 million in restitution, and paid more than $4 million in fines, penalties and court costs,” said IFPA Executive Director Tom Donahue. “However clever you might think your scheme to be, investigators have seen it before. We want insurance consumers in Pennsylvania to be aware that suspicious claims get investigated – and prosecuted.”      

The IFPA’s new “Crash and Buy” television spot features an investigator next to a large screen, explaining a common insurance plot as it unfolds: An uninsured driver wrecks his car, then purchases insurance immediately after the accident – and waits to report the accident to his insurance company once he has coverage. We see the driver’s fantasy of using a payout on his wrecked car to buy a shiny new red sports car, but that dream evaporates into a darker reality: The investigator himself has entered the scene and is now knocking on the driver’s door. 

Donahue notes that the act of lying to the insurance company about when the accident happened is insurance fraud. In Pennsylvania‚ insurance fraud is a felony‚ punishable by up to seven years in prison and up to $15‚000 in fines. The FBI estimates the total cost of insurance fraud (non-health insurance) to be more than $40 billion per year. That means insurance fraud costs the average U.S. family between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums.

The IFPA’s ongoing statewide prevention campaign depicts real-life scenarios of people who are contemplating or involved in committing insurance fraud. The campaign has become a national model used in 33 other states and received the 2017 Innovation Torchbearer Award from the Insurance Marketing & Communications Association.  

Click here to view the new television spot, “Crash and Buy.

The IFPA was created in 1994 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly through Act 166, Pennsylvania’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, to arm law enforcement with the resources necessary to fight insurance fraud in the Commonwealth. For more information visit www.helpstopfraud.org. 

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Report Insurance Fraud!

This website provides a listing of law enforcement agencies that fight fraud. To report anonymously, consumers can call the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s tip line at 1-800-TEL-NICB or the IFPA’s tip line at 1-888-565-IFPA.