MIAMI (CBSMiami) – You’re paying too much for insurance, and fraud is to blame. However, the Miami Police Department (MPD) announced it has made progress in fighting fraud in Florida.
On Friday morning, MPD detailed the results of Operation Never Ends, a year-long undercover joint effort involving the department, the U.S. Secret Service, and other agencies.
At the news conference, MPD revealed that 12 people were arrested and two clinics, Miami Medical Care Center and Caribe Rehab, were closed for conducting fraudulent insurance claims.
The clinics profited by staging motor vehicle crashes, such as a “swoop-and-squat”, in which a motorist pulls in front of a car then slams on the brakes, crashing into the unsuspecting vehicle behind it.
Such crashes have led to skyrocketing auto insurance costs. For some motorists, the budget-busting rates are so unaffordable that they forego having it (a violation of Florida law). It’s no surprise: industry reports rank Florida as the third-most expensive state for insurance.
“Every incident is different because every clinic is different in the size and scope in the amount of money we have. In one clinic that we had, I can tell you that one investigation we did in the beginning, they were up to $80,000 before we shut them down in just one crash,” explained Luis Taborda from the West Miami Police Department.
Florida drivers with fake insurance cards are also causing your auto insurance costs to skyrocket: in the event of a crash with an uninsured motorist, the cost of repairs can be passed on to the insured driver.
With so many ways to defraud the insurance system, MPD partnered with several agencies to conduct the operation that resulted in the arrests announced Friday.
The U.S. Secret Service, West Miami Police Department, Hialeah Police Department, Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office, Florida Department of Health, National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), State Farm Insurance, United Auto Insurance, Direct General Insurance and Nationwide Insurance all participated in the joint investigation.