Recent data points to a surge in Florida of so-called “ staged accidents,” incidents where criminals fake a no-fault accident to collect insurance money. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported a 58% jump in the number of suspicious accidents from 2008 to 2009.
The anti-fraud unit of insurers says the leap far outpaces other types of insurance fraud seen in the state, likely because Florida is one of 12 states with no-fault auto accident coverage, allowing con men to file claims for alleged injuries, collect major payments and stand little risk of getting caught.
The NICB found that while South Florida remains a hot spot for the crime, operations have expanded northward to Tampa, which has become the activity’s epicenter with 487 questionable accidents that appear staged last year, a 290% increase. Miami had 258 incidents, an 11% increase, and Orlando 240, a 24% increase.