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Allstate Spearheads Industry Fraud Battle With Investigators, Lawsuits


OLDWICK, N.J., Apr 10, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The amount of money that Allstate Insurance Co. has sought to recover in insurance fraud-related lawsuits in New York offers a glimpse into how much the criminal enterprise saps from the business annually, according to the latest issue of BestWeek U.S./Canada.

In the past six years, the Northbrook, Ill.,-based company has brought 28 lawsuits in the Empire State, seeking to recover more than $101 million in insurance fraud cases, the company said. Most recently, the company filed a lawsuit in New York, seeking $2 million it paid out in what are alleged to be fraudulent medical claims (Best’s News Service, March 15, 2012).

The company dedicates 63 employees to its special investigation unit in New York and 570 similar investigators on a national basis. Those units, which are common among the largest national insurers, are charged with weeding out suspicious claims and recovering money paid out to those trying to bilk the system.

Peter Van Patten, a Nationwide special investigations unit director in charge of special projects, told BestWeek in the past four years his company has placed a greater emphasis on checking out and preventing fraud. He said the company has committed itself to being a resource for law enforcement agencies investigating insurance crimes. Nationwide has about 230 fraud investigators across the country.

In BestWeek Europe, the fear that gripped the world’s businesses in 1999 as the calendar inched toward the year 2000 gave a boost to cyber insurance, a line that is now firmly established in the casualty market. Gareth Tungatt, cyber underwriter at Barbican Group Holdings Ltd.’s Syndicate 1955, divides the cyber market into business interruption and the liabilities that can result from the loss or misuse of data stored in cyber networks.

Also BestWeek U.S./Canada, gives a sneak peak at the hot topics expected to be on the agenda at the annual Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference, which gets under way April 15 in Philadelphia. The April 23 issue of BestWeek will contain exclusive print and video coverage.

Analytics, supply chain risk, cyber risk, the state of the insurance market and the economy are all likely to be all the buzz, said Deborah Luthi, enterprise risk manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and president of RIMS.

While some RIMS conferences of the past were almost dominated by single topics, such as broker contingent commissions or terrorism insurance, this year finds risk managers grappling with a wide range of risks. “When did our jobs get so complex, and how do we stay out ahead of that?” said Luthi.

Among the most popular of the 120 educational sessions offered during the conference are those tying risk quantification to strategic goals and driving down the cost of risk, plus one session that promises to define 10 easy steps to implement enterprise risk management.

BestWeek is published by A.M. Best Co. for insurance professionals. To subscribe, visit .

BestWeek can be accessed on iPads and mobile devices. Go to on your iPad or mobile device, click on BestWeek digital to log in.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Co. is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit .

Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SOURCE: A.M. Best Co.

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