SAN FRANCISCO, CA — March 8, 2005 — Though most insurance consumers have only the best of intentions, the small number of people who commit insurance fraud contribute to increases in insurance costs for honest consumers. In efforts to inform the public and control insurance premiums for law-abiding citizens, Esurance, a direct-to-consumer auto insurance company, recently launched its online campaign to help consumers fight fraud.
Located at http://www.esurance.com/insurance/fightfraud.asp, consumers can learn more about recognizing and preventing the problem of insurance fraud. In addition to offering other useful claims-related information, Esurance also informs consumers about how to report potential instances of insurance fraud to Esurance.
Like all insurance companies, Esurance takes fraud fighting very seriously. Gary Tolman, Esurance President and CEO, stated, “As a company, we take insurance fraud seriously because it’s ultimately an issue of fairness. If left unchecked, fraud can affect the rates honest people pay for auto insurance.”
Esurance sells a large number of policies online, providing the company with very detailed records of transactions that can be used to ferret out fraud when old-fashioned detective work takes place. Tolman described the company’s tough fraud fighting approach, stating, “When rigorous investigation is combined with the rich archive of data at our disposal, few crooks can escape the dragnet of our Special Investigations Unit.”
Jay Bobrowsky, one of Esurance’s investigators, finds that a lot of cases involve drivers who mistakenly think that they can pull one over on the company by buying a policy online. Bobrowsky explained, “Quite a few of the fraud incidents I see involve a claim reported almost immediately after a policy purchase, which always raises a few alarm bells. Not that this can’t happen to honest folks, but we have to look into every potentially suspicious circumstance. Usually, all you have to do is make a call to the insured and ask a few details about accident and policy purchase dates. Honest customers have no problem answering these questions, but when a customer has committed fraud, they have trouble answering, and then spill the beans. Those who confess to fraud usually let us know that their spouse, partner, or someone else put them up to it.”
Bobrowsky stated, “The criminal mind never ceases to amaze me. Some of the excuses would be pretty amusing, were fraud not something that unfairly affects honest customers. It strikes me as strange when individuals committing fraud consistently fail to understand that insurance companies have a lot of information at their disposal and that companies actually cooperate with one another when fraud may be involved.”
Many of Esurance’s cases turned over to state insurance fraud bureaus ultimately result in prosecution. Over the last two years, Esurance’s detective work has resulted in several arrests, some of which have led to jail time. Other penalties include fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Of the criminal proceedings that have already resulted from the efforts of Esurance’s Special Investigations Unit, Tolman stated, “Prosecution sends a strong message that Esurance takes a very serious stance on fraud. Thanks to the efforts of our super sleuths, Esurance stops criminal activity from impacting all the honest, hard-working consumers out there.”
About Esurance Inc.
Esurance Inc., a subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM), provides personal auto insurance direct to consumers online. Esurance is dedicated to constantly improving the way people shop for, buy, and manage their auto insurance. By combining the best of technology with industry know-how, Esurance is able to offer hassle-free auto insurance coverage with 24/7 customer service and claims handling at competitive prices.
Through Esurance’s Web site, www.esurance.com, customers can get instant quotes, view comparison quotes, buy an Esurance policy, and print their proof of insurance card— all in minutes. Esurance also offers policyholders the ability to make policy changes and file claims instantly online, demonstrating its commitment to improving the entire insurance process from quote to claim.