Scrutiny of slip-and-fall claims against businesses and other forms of potential insurance fraud has been on the rise in Georgia and throughout the nation as of late. This is likely due to two distinct factors:
- A tough economy has businesses looking to be lean. Compensating injured people injured after slipping on a business’s premises is extremely costly. Such payments are often some of the first expenditures to be scrutinized in detail.
- The aforementioned state of the economy has led more individuals to pursue the receipt of compensation if they happened to be injured at a place of business.
According to a report released recently by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the number of claims deemed “questionable” submitted by member companies has increased by 57 percent since 2008. More than 4,600 such claims have been flagged for further review in the same period. The first quarter of 2008 saw 325 slip-and-fall claims flagged as questionable, whereas the fourth quarter of 2009 saw 565 such incidents. 997 cases were flagged in the first half of 2010.
Historically, businesses that are self-insured look at compensating patrons for slip-and-fall accidents as an unavoidable cost of running a retail operation. Often, checks are cut without much investigation. Millions of dollars are paid out each year in such cases.
NICB officials have been working directly with insurance companies and local police in these cases in the pursuit of insurance fraud charges. They can become so focused on the chase, it’s unavoidable that some individuals innocent of fraud are coming into their crosshairs.
Source: Savannah Morning News “INSIDE INSURANCE: Slip-and-fall claims get second look” by David Colmans 10/4/10