Sinkholes are a problem in Florida. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation conducted a data call study from insurers regarding the insurance issues created by this peril. One significant finding was the extremely low reported cases of fraud. Here is what the report said on that issue:
From 2006 through 2010, only 203 claims were reported to the Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud—less than 1% of the total claims reported. The number of alleged fraudulent claims peaked at just over 2% of the total claims reported in 2007.
I have known and worked with, and against, many fine lobbyists who are highly ethical and honest. The majority fall into that category. However, for years I have had to listen to some insurance lobbyists lie about the amount of fraud involved with sinkhole claims. They took a lesson from the McCarthy era tactics and simply made up information and presented it to legislators as the truth, even though they had no factual basis. Any fraud is wrong. Lobbyists who present false information as fact to influence legislation in their clients’ favor are, in my opinion, committing the same kind of fraud that they often wrongly accuse insurance customers of. Our regulators and legislators should remember this study every time an insurance industry lobbyist is spinning information concerning insurance claims.
How about a song acknowledging what everybody should think of when insurance industry lobbyists speak about insurance claims: