Don't get scammed by fake insurance
Phony insurance policies are on the rise in Oregon and nationwide, with unsuspecting consumers footing the bills for unpaid claims.
To fight fake insurance scams, Oregon is joining state insurance departments nationwide in a public awareness campaign that encourages consumers to "stop, call and confirm" before buying insurance.
Fake insurance policies take a variety of forms, but they're almost always marketed to make you think you're buying insurance protection. They may say they're not insurance in small print, but the seller wants you to believe you'll be covered by insurance if you file a claim.
Fake insurers are a growing problem in all lines of insurance, especially health care. A federal Government Accountability
Office study recently found that 144 phony insurers sold bogus health insurance products to more than 200,000 policyholders between 2000 and 2002, resulting in $252 million in unpaid claims.
The best way to avoid problems is to buy insurance only from authorized insurers. The Insurance Division licenses insurers and must approve most insurance products sold in Oregon. Consumers can check the division's Web site to see if an insurance company is licensed to do business in the state.
Look for these three warning signs of phony insurance:
To protect yourself against buying fake insurance:
Contact the Oregon Insurance Division about fake insurance or any other insurance-related questions you may have. Your call might help us track down and take action against the con artists who sell fake insurance.