EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 30, 2013

Crackdown saves city drivers $68M

(Continued)

The Eagle-Tribune story about the fatal crash was part of an ongoing investigation by the paper which led to the publishing of a five-part series in July 2004 titled “At Fault: Inside the culture of auto insurance fraud.” The series sparked a grand jury investigation and 16 indictments, including lawyers and chiropractors. Then-Gov. Mitt Romney later credited the stories with helping to pass an “anti-runner law” that made it a criminal offense for lawyers and health-care professionals to pay “runners” to bring them clients.

Meanwhile, the Lawrence task force began individual investigations of suspicious cases referred by the fraud bureau and the insurance industry. The investigations led to numerous arrests. The 484 people charged as a result of the work of the Lawrence task force is second only to Boston’s unit (484), according the insurance report.

“In Lawrence, it seemed that most of the staged accidents had roots in runners working directly for local chiropractors who were feeding off the extra “patients” the accidents brought in,” the report stated.

“To this day, the task force is active, working through an inventory of possible staged accident cases that have come to light.”

“Staged accident activity in Massachusetts has been reduced dramatically as people around the state, who used to be involved in fraudulent activities, have taken notice of the crackdown and altered their activities,” the report said.

Estimated Policy Premium Savings Since CIFI Inception Community##Year CIFI Introduced##Cumulative Premium Savings##Average Annual Savings Per Vehicle Boston##2004##$346.9 million##$227 Brockton##2004##$49.6 million##$151 Chelsea/Revere##2005##$32.4 million##$151 Fall River/New Bedford##2006##$38.3 million##$79 Holyoke/Springfield##2004##$98.7 million##$161 Lawrence##2003##$68.4 million##$335 Lowell##2004##$73.6 million##$195 Lynn##2004##$56.8 million##$188 Randolph##2005##$31.7 million##$262 Worcester##2006##$78.4 million##$180 Total CIFI##2006##$874.9 million##$185 Editor's Note: information provided by Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts. Cumulative premium savings is estimated for each community by comparing the difference between the pre-CIFI average policy premium and the average policy premium for each subsequent year applied to the total number of vehicles in each community. Average annual savings is the cumulative premium savings divided by the number of years of savings and the current number of vehicles in each community. Data is through 2011. People Charged With Auto Insurance Fraud Community##Individuals Charged Boston##488 Lawrence##484 Brockton##295 Springfield/Holyoke##177 Lynn##133 Fall River/New Bedford##95 Randolph##76 Lowell##64 Chelsea/Revere##59 Worcester##46 Total##1,917

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