Across the country, many consumers may be vexed by the rising cost of auto insurance they occasionally face. However, one of the big drivers in this area can often be local upticks in instances of auto insurance fraud, and that’s actually something that can bring up prices both quickly and sharply. For this reason, insurers and local officials usually coordinate to determine the best way to deal with these issues, and are often successful in tracking down and prosecuting the people who commit such crimes. This is something that insurance agents might want to talk to their clients about, too, because of how much these crimes that have nothing to do with them can end up impacting their personal bottom lines.
A fraud ring that had been operating in the Cincinnati area was recently broken up and, after a few speedy trials, all three of its primary participants received sentences in the last few months, according to a report from the Ohio Department of Insurance. Altogether, their efforts led to them filing some $85,000 worth of fraudulent claims to various insurers. Because crimes like this can often go undetected for some time, the state urges residents who suspect such a scam is ongoing to contact the state’s fraud hotline.
What was involved?
The last of the sentences handed down came on Sept. 3, as Deandra Chambers was given four years in prison, the report said. She pleaded guilty to three counts of insurance fraud and one of tampering with records. Meanwhile, Trenton Evans was convicted of three counts of insurance fraud in late July, but is currently serving an 18-month sentence from another case, which did not involve insurance fraud. When that is up, he will spend six more months in prison for this crime.
Finally, Domynck Elahee was the first member of the group to be sentenced, back in June, the report said. He pleaded guilty to three felony counts of insurance fraud. As a result, he was given three years of community control, and also ordered to pay back $7,700 to the insurance companies he helped to defraud.
How can agents move forward?
The more agents can do to help people understand some of the reasons their rates may rise and fall irrespective of their driving record, the better off they’re likely to be when it comes to keeping those clients happy even if costs do go up. That’s because people who know more about their policies tend to be more satisfied not only with them, but also with their insurers and even agents. That, in turn, is likely to be good news for those agents as well, because happier people mean higher customer service ratings and client retention rates on an ongoing basis.