Insurance Fraud & Education
Get Smart About Insurance with Insure-U
It’s time to get smart about insurance, and that means going back to school online. Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), of which the Kansas Insurance Department is a member, Insure U has two objectives: to help consumers get smart about insurance as their life stage needs change and to educate them about ways to avoid being scammed by fake insurance companies. The Insure U curriculum teaches users about insurance in an informal atmosphere. Research the topics that affect you, then take quizzes to test your knowledge. Choose the website that’s right for you.
Your auto, home, health and life insurance decisions often depend on your stage in life. This information is geared toward the following:
- Young singles
- Young families
- Established families
- Domestic partners
- Single parents
- Raising grandchildren
Owners and managers of small companies and home-based businesses will find information and tips about these types of insurance:
- Workers compensation
- Business property and liability
- Commercial auto
- Group health and group disability
- Group life and key person life
- Home-based businesses
Identity Theft Insurance
- What is Identity Theft
- What can You do to Prevent Identity Theft
- Can You Insure Against Identity Theft
- Things to Consider
- Before You Buy
- For More Information on Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when a person uses your personal information, such as Social Security number and date of birth, with the intent to commit fraud or to aid an unlawful activity. Once personal information is obtained, the person may open new credit card accounts in your name, open bank accounts in your name to write bad checks or take out a loan in your name. Federal law provides a $50 liability limit for the fraudulent use of credit cards. Because of this, most identity theft victims never incur a high amount of direct monetary losses. However, restoring credit and correcting the information is a slow and time-consuming process. Identity theft insurance is one way to help consumers cope.
Taking steps to protect your identity is important. Here are some suggestions:
- Avoid carrying your Social Security number and driver’s license number together in your wallet.
- Shred pre-approved credit card offers and bills before disposing of them.
- Avoid putting outgoing mail in your home mailbox – place it in a U.S. Postal service mailbox.
- Be careful using credit cards online. Some consumers have a card they use only for online purchases.
- Check your credit report on a regular basis. If you see unusual activity, you can investigate promptly by contacting the three credit bureaus: Equifax – www.equifax.com (1-800-525-6285); Experian – www.experian.com (1-888-397-3742); and TransUnion – www.transunion.com (1-800-680-7289).
If you are a victim of identity theft, it can be very costly to reestablish your credit and identity. Several companies are now offering identity theft insurance, which generally costs between $25 and $60 per year. Identity theft insurance cannot protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft and does not cover direct monetary losses incurred as result of identity theft. Instead, identity theft insurance provides coverage for the cost of reclaiming your financial identity, such as the costs of making phone calls, making copies, mailing documents, taking time off from work without pay (lost wages) and hiring an attorney.
- Find out what the policy limits are. Most identity theft insurance policies have policy limits of $10,000 – $15,000.
- Find out if there is a deductible. Some policies require you to pay the first $100 – $500 of costs incurred for reclaiming your financial identity.
- Remember, identity theft insurance does not cover direct monetary losses.
- If the policy covers lost wages, verify what limits apply and what is required to trigger this coverage. If you are a salaried employee or are required to request vacation time in the event of a work absence associated with reclaiming your financial identity, you may not have unpaid leave and lost wages.
- If the policy covers legal fees, verify what limits apply and if legal work needs to be pre-approved by the insurer.
Check to see if your current homeowner insurer includes identity theft insurance as part of your homeowner’s insurance. If not, you may be able to add identity theft insurance to your homeowner’s policy for a small fee or purchase a stand-alone policy from another insurer, bank or credit card company.
As with any insurance product, make sure you understand what you are purchasing and compare the product’s price, coverage and deductibles among multiple insurers.
For ideas and suggestions on how to minimize the risk of identity theft, or what to do if you become a victim, please visit the Federal Trade Commission Website at https://www.consumer.gov/.
The information on this page is from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), a voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The overriding objectives of state regulators are to protect consumers and help maintain the financial stability of the insurance industry.
Fight and Report Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud is one of the most costly white-collar crimes in America, second only to tax evasion. It affects every citizen of our state in an immediate and substantial way.
While shoplifting costs the retail industry approximately $13 billion each year, insurance fraud is estimated to cost $100 billion. In both instances, the crimes translate into higher costs for everyone. Insurance researchers estimate that every U.S. household pays $200 to $300 a year in higher premiums in order to offset fraudulent claims.
- What is Fraud?
- How to Report Insurance Fraud
- How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
- The Insurance Commissioner’s Anti-Fraud Division
Check to see if your Insurance Agent or Company is licensed in the state of Kansas.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) also provides an online fraud reporting system for consumers.
Fake insurance policies are scams designed to steal your money. Fighting fake insurance is simple. “Stop. Call. Confirm.” before you buy.
Get Smart About Insurance
Recent studies by the National Association of Insurance Commissioner (NAIC) show few Americans understand the details of their insurance policies and many are not aware they could be the victim of a scam and unknowingly purchase a fake policy.
Company Anti-Fraud Reporting
Effective July 1, 2006, all insurers licensed to write business in Kansas are required to report fraudulent insurance activity and to implement anti-fraud initiatives that are designed to detect fraudulent acts, per K.S.A. 40-2,118.
- Bulletin 2006-2 (pdf)
Online submission of company anti-fraud plans and letters is now available through the Kansas Insurance Department’s secure extranet, Company Desktop. Letters detailing anti-fraud initiatives and anti-fraud plans must be submitted to the Kansas Insurance Commissioner electronically.
A link on the Company Desktop login page explains how to get an ID and password for the site or find out the name of your Company Administrator, who must set an anti-fraud security flag to “Y” in your user’s profile to provide access to the screen where letters and plans can be submitted and viewed online.
Users who need to file an identical letter or plan for additional companies only need to acquire and use a single login for one of their companies. The upload screen for any company will allow the user to submit the same file for multiple companies. (See a copy of the file upload screen.)
Online Fraud Reporting System
The Commissioner has designated the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Online Fraud Reporting System as the prescribed form to report fraudulent insurance acts in the state. Follow the link to access the service.