Arizona Auto Insurance Fraud Ring Brought Down

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  • One of the biggest drivers of auto insurance rate hikes, even for those with the best driving records, is the fact that fraud for this kind of coverage remains widespread across the country. However, law enforcement agencies and insurers alike are now doing more to crack down on this type of crime, and such efforts recently resulted in the arrest of the final major player in an alleged five-man fraud ring in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. However, insurance agents may need to do a little more to make sure that clients know the kind of damage fraud can do even when it doesn’t impact them directly.

    Edgar Eduardo Renteria-Molina was recently arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol near San Diego in connection with an outstanding warrant from the Arizona Department of Insurance, according to a report from the Associated Press. It’s believed that Renteria-Molina was the last of five major suspects in a massive auto insurance fraud ring that had ripped off companies for some $250,000; when two other members were arrested in November, the other three allegedly fled the state in hopes of evading arrest.

    How was the fraud discovered?
    In April, authorities received an anonymous tip that there was a group submitting fake auto insurance claims with local auto body shops, which sparked the investigation, the report said. Since then, all five have been apprehended, and stand charged with submitting bogus claims to a number of different insurance companies. Auto insurance fraud has been prevalent in the state of Arizona for some time, and authorities at both the state and local levels are now trying to do more to crack down on it in a number of ways.

    The more insurance agents can do to explain instances of fraud and other things that can have an indirect impact on an individual’s auto insurance costs, the better off they might be when it comes to soothing those who are concerned about rising premiums. The fact of the matter is many polls show that consumers generally like receiving high-quality customer service even more so than they do getting discounts on their coverage. For this reason, agents should try to provide both good attention to detail when needed and the occasional price cut, as this could serve to keep customer satisfaction ratings as high as possible when prices increase.