FLORIDA: Six people were charged either with faking traffic accidents or filing claims for medical treatment that never took place.
Five people in Miami-Dade and one in Naples were arrested recently with faking car accidents, recruiting people to stage wrecks or filing false claims with insurance companies using drivers' personal injury protection insurance policies.
Combined, the scammers billed insurance companies for $170,000 worth of medical treatment that was never performed, according to the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud. If convicted, they face imprisonment on charges including grand theft, filing false insurance claims, staging accidents and patient brokering. The six arrested join more than 400 others charged in the past two years with fraud related to PIP insurance.
Fraud related to PIP costs the average Florida family as much $400 a year, according to Florida's chief financial officer. Four Florida cities—Tampa, Miami, Orlando and Hialeah—are now listed among the top 10 in the nation for PIP fraud.
``PIP fraud perpetrators may find the crime easy to commit, but I am putting the word out that they will do hard time if convicted,'' CFO Jeff Atwater said in a statement.
Personal injury protection insurance, which all Florida drivers must buy, pays for up to $10,000 worth of medical care and lost wages following a car accident, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.