North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is expanding the department’s criminal investigations division as part of his vision to eliminate insurance fraud in North Carolina.
On March 16, 15 new special agents were sworn – in by State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson as officers to the NCDOI Fraud Control Group – nearly doubling the size of the existing team.
“One of the first things I did when I took office was meet with our criminal investigations division, “said Commissioner Causey. “I learned, because of the vast number of insurance fraud complaints in this state, we were shorthanded on the number of investigators to examine them.”
Each month, North Carolina receives between 400-500 criminal insurance fraud complaints.
In 2017, Commissioner Causey’s first year in office, 334 people were arrested for insurance – related violations – almost 60 percent more arrests than 2016 under the previous administration. Those arrests resulted in the recovery of approximately $14.1 million.
According to the Department, insurance fraud costs consumers between 15 and 20 cents of every dollar they spend on insurance premiums.
Because of the enormity of the problem, the North Carolina General Assembly, in 2017, appropriated $2.4 million to hire additional agents in NCDOI’s criminal investigations division including a crime analyst, forensic accountant, attorneys and special agents.