Michigan Auto Insurance Fraud Scheme Nets Man Jail Time

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  • Michigan has been the epicenter of a debate about auto insurance costs for some time now, as millions of people there pay far more than the national average for their coverage. That, in turn, can lead to the temptation to skirt the law, which recently led to one man being sentenced for selling phony proof of insurance cards. This is an issue of which insurance agents will have to be acutely aware of going forward, especially if they operate in states where the average premium is so much more significant than the national average.

    Hakeem Sanusi, of Eastpointe, Michigan, was recently given one year in jail after he pleaded no contest to six counts of insurance fraud for selling falsified auto insurance certificates, according to a report from Lansing, Michigan, television station WWJ. He was also charged with criminal enterprise, identity theft, and possession or sale of stolen or counterfeit insurance certificates, among other things. Sansui was arrested back in September, and was sentenced as a habitual offender.

    What was the crime?
    However, it’s important to note that most people for whom he provided the documents were unaware that they were breaking the law. Sanu​si posed as an insurance agent for a local provider and then made up the documents when people approached him. When authorities raided his home, they found even more phony insurance forms on the premises.

    “Hakeem Sanusi’s crimes are part of a growing state-wide problem of drivers carrying fake auto insurance certificates, sometimes without the drivers knowing their policies are not real,” said Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd, according to the station. “About one-fifth of insurance certificates presented in Wayne County, where Sanusi operated, are invalid. The general public is impacted when they find that the other driver does not have valid insurance, and repair and medical bills are not as easily reimbursed.”

    Insurance agents who can talk to their clients about why auto insurance policies cost what they do, and what they might be able to do to help deal with those potentially sizable premiums, will likely be the ones who have the most success. That’s because high-quality customer service is often valued more highly by consumers than just the ability to save money, so policyholders who have a firm understanding of the ins and outs of their plans will typically be more satisfied, and less likely to shop around for coverage.