Fighting fake insurance
Stop - Call - Confirm
DENVER (March 10, 2017) – Insurance fraud has been around as long as insurance. It costs businesses billions of dollars each year - an expense then passed to consumers as higher premiums. While the elderly are the most vulnerable to fraud, anyone can be a victim. Scammers can be charming or aggressive, but their goal is always the same - getting you to give them money.
The mission of the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), is to promote compliance and enforce laws to help protect consumers. As part of National Consumer Protection Week, the DOI offers the following tips to keep you from becoming a victim. Learn to identify potential fraud to avoid getting conned.
What can I do to prevent being a victim of fraud?
Stop. Call. Confirm. If you are unsure about an insurance company or agent, STOP before signing any paperwork or paying any money; CALL the Division of Insurance - 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 to CONFIRM that the company or agent offering insurance is legitimate and licensed to sell insurance in Colorado. You can also verify the license of your agent and the insurance company on the DOI website, and even see if any disciplinary actions have been issued. Visit AskDORA.colorado.gov and click on “Verify a License.” Taking such precautions won’t bother honest agents and insurers.
If you believe you have been the victim of insurance fraud, or are aware of fraudulent activity, take action by filing a report with the Online Fraud Reporting System, a system from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC - the Colorado DOI belongs to this group).
What is insurance fraud?
Fake insurance companies or agents defraud consumers by taking money for premiums on bogus policies with no intention of paying claims. Scammers may offer policies at costs that are significantly lower than competitors’ prices. They might be difficult to reach by phone, if there is even a listed phone number. Always find out if the agent represents a legitimate, licensed insurer before purchasing a policy. Contact the DOI or visit AskDORA.colorado.gov to verify the agent or company.
There are also legitimate, companies that sell non-insurance products marketed to look like real insurance. For example, an agent working for a company selling health discount plans might call it insurance when it is really an unregulated, non-insurance product. If you have questions about the insurance you’re being sold, contact the Division of Insurance - 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.