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CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance

Automobile Fraud

Automobile Insurance Fraud Program

The Fraud Division is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating automobile insurance fraud crimes and it coordinates enforcement operations with municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies throughout California. Completed investigations are filed with the local district attorney or the United States Attorney’s Office.

Fraud Division detectives enforce the provisions of California Penal Code sections 548-550. Detectives focus on categories such as medical mills, staged collision rings, false and fraudulent claims, and organized fraud activity and automobile theft groups. During Fiscal Year 2022-23, the Fraud Division received 12,124 suspected fraudulent claims (SFCs), assigned 505 new cases, made 235 arrests, and referred 352 cases to prosecuting authorities. The potential loss amounted to $155,739,477.

District Attorneys' Automobile Insurance Fraud Program

During Fiscal Year 2022-23, 34 counties received funding totaling $16,337,665 through the Department’s Auto Insurance Grant Program.

For Fiscal Year 2022-23, California district attorneys reported 2,009 investigations and made 492 arrests. This number includes the Fraud Division’s enforcement actions and local law enforcement investigations. District attorneys prosecuted 1,109 cases involving 1,191 defendants with chargeable fraud totaling $13,876,837, which resulted in 425 convictions and $1,147,781 in restitution ordered by the courts.

Organized Automobile Fraud Activity Interdiction Program

The California State Legislature has determined that organized automobile fraud activity operating in major urban centers of the state represents a significant portion of all individual fraud-related automobile insurance cases. This fraudulent activity endangers the safety of the public and drives higher insurance premiums in certain urban and low-income areas of the state. The primary focus of the program is the investigation of organized criminal activity that occurs in urban areas and which often involves the staging of collisions and the filing of fraudulent accident or damage claims.

Staged collisions are often complex organized rings that range from “paper” collisions to actually targeting vehicles on streets and freeways to cause an accident for the purposes of collecting settlements from insurance carriers. Staged collisions are orchestrated by organized rings of criminals and involve the collision participants, stagers, cappers, attorneys, doctors, chiropractors, body shops and others. During fiscal year 2022-23, the Fraud Division assigned 118 new cases and made 91 arrests and 135 referrals to prosecuting authorities. Potential loss amounted to $10,903,034.

District Attorneys' Organized Automobile Fraud Activity Interdiction Program

During Fiscal Year 2022-23, 8 counties received funding totaling $7,624,000. The California district attorneys reported 155 investigations and 75 arrests, including Fraud Division arrests. The district attorneys prosecuted 174 cases involving 432 defendants with chargeable fraud totaling $25,313,998, which resulted in 82 convictions and $860,340 of restitution ordered.

Organized Automobile Insurance Fraud Interdiction Program Regulations

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