Posts Tagged ‘John Askins’

2011: The year of action on PIP fraud

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

What does 2011 hold for efforts to fight personal injury protection (PIP) fraud in Florida?

Lots.

And Florida residents can help in the PIP fraud clean-up by supporting the Chief Financial Officer and the dedicated investigators and prosecutors of his Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF).

CFO Jeff Atwater recently said he will be seeking tough sentences for perpetrators who try to rip-off the system. Now we get word from the Florida’s director of the division of insurance fraud that a new PIP squad has been added in Tampa to crack down on what’s ranked the worst region in the United States for PIP fraud.

“There is no shortage of criminals who seek to commit fraud at every opportunity,” writes director John Askins in his division’s January 2011 newsletter.” The dedicated law enforcement officers at DIF are determined to do their best to investigate and arrest them.”

The division has also hired a senior attorney in Miami to coordinate efforts and improve results in prosecutions. In addition, the division “is working for legislation that will eliminate loopholes used by accident clinics,” Askins writes in the newsletter. “We are asking for additional dedicated prosecutors to help us send more of these criminals to jail.”

How can Floridians help? By writing urging legislators to vote for legislation that would crack down on the PIP fraud that keeps pushing insurance premiums higher and higher. Legislators should also fund, even in these tough economic times, staffing to chase down and lock up PIP fraudsters.

The auto insurance industry is doing its part in 2011. The International Association of Special Investigation Units, a non-profit organization funded by insurers, is educating insurers on how to spot PIP fraud and helping law enforcement officials with their investigations.

Insurers are putting more than money into the effort to fight PIP fraud. Ohio Farmers Insurance Company has donated a car to DIF that it can use in undercover surveillance along the west coast of the state. The car will help law enforcement officials uncover the PIP fraud rings that are rampant that region.