INDIANAPOLIS (March 1, 2005)––“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) State Affairs Manager Tami Stanton told the members of the Vermont House Commerce Committee Friday. “Individuals are victims of sophisticated schemes and rings. Individuals have been seriously injured or killed in staged accidents. In the end, we are all victims of insurance fraud because each of us, as policyholders, pay for the cost in our insurance premiums.”
Stanton joined representatives from State Farm, the Vermont Association of Domestic Property and Casualty Insurance Companies, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, in testifying in support of House Bill 150, An Act Relating to Insurance Fraud.
The language in HB 150 addresses those other types of fraud involving vehicle thefts, inflated homeowner’s losses, inflated business losses and workers’ compensation claimant fraud. It also provides for adequate penalties and requires fraud-warning statements on insurance applications and claims forms.
“Vermont is missing some very important elements in its statute regarding insurance fraud,” said Stanton. “The only type of insurance fraud that is specifically mentioned in Vermont law is arson. Without specific language addressing other types of insurance fraud, the state is sending the wrong message.”
Commerce Committee Chair, Rep. Kathleen Keenan, D- St. Albans City, asked Stanton to return later in the session to assist in moving the bill forward. Keenan is a sponsor of HB 150, along with Rep. Mark Young, R-Orwell.
Friday’s hearing was the first step in the legislative process.
For further information, contact
Rick Nelson, APR
Public Affairs Manager
(317) 875-5250 ext. 1054