|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2013
|FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT
Vivian D. Laxton, 410-468-2007
Director, Public Affairs
Maryland Insurance Administration issues first-ever civil fraud orders
BALTIMORE – The Maryland Insurance Administration today issued its first administrative orders under newly granted authority to pursue civil cases of insurance fraud. The authority took effect last October following passage of legislation by the 2012 Maryland General Assembly. Previously, the agency investigated only criminal fraud cases, which are prosecuted by either State’s Attorney’s Offices or the Office of the Attorney General. Fraud referrals made to the agency’s Insurance Fraud Division since October 1, 2012, now also are reviewed for civil remedies.
The second case of fraud involved a Mechanicsville man who filed a disability insurance claim with a false date listed for his return to work. As a result of the false date, the insurance company paid him for time during which he also received a salary from his employer. The man has been ordered to re-pay $1,120.70 to American United Life Insurance Co. and pay a $2,000 administrative penalty.
Insurance fraud is a felony if it involves $300 or more. Anyone convicted of the crime faces up to 15 years in prison. Civil penalties can reach up to $25,000. Losses from fraudulent claims are passed on to all consumers in the form of higher premiums. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that theft through insurance fraud reaches at least $80 billion each year.
An independent state regulatory agency, the Maryland Insurance Administration regulates Maryland’s $26 billion insurance industry. For more information about the MIA, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook.
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