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$90 billion in insurance fraud adds cost to everything you buy

Insurance fraud costs us all in higher premiums and virtually everything we buy. The Alabama Department of Insurance Fraud Unit (ALDOI) is stepping up efforts to catch these scammers.

What does it cost the industry? "It's a rough estimate: $90 billion dollars," explains Jim Finn. who heads up the ALDOI Fraud Unit in Montgomery. That fraud costs the average consumer $1,200-$1,500 dollars a year.

Finn's office worked close to 200 cases last year, closing 145. Now with added staff, they are ready to crack down. He says the biggest problem is fraud rings who know the system well, filing a series of small claims to stay under the radar.

The cases they work run the gamut form slip and falls, arson and false medical claims. A St. Clair County mother plead guilty to using her dead daughter's name to collect nearly a quarter of a million dollars in health insurance money.

Thirty percent of the state cases come through the "fraud and arson" tip line. The number to call the ALDOI Fraud Unit is 1-800-654-0775. You may remain anonymous.

You may also follow this link to file information online with the ALDOI Fraud Unit:

http://www.aldoi.gov/FraudUnit/ReportFraud.aspx

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