Everyone knows the numbers by heart: Insurance fraud costs property/casualty carriers an estimated $27 billion each year, or roughly 10% of premiums collected.The tricky part is detecting fraud so that some of those losses can be redirected to the bottom line. In the world of auto repair, fraud rears its head higher during dicey economic times like now when folks are hurting for money.

To meet this challenge, Farmers Insurance Group has changed the operating philosophy of its special investigations unit 180 degrees, from "reactive" to "proactive." The nation's third-largest personal lines property and casualty insurance group has initiated a host of strategic steps to take the profit out of fraud, especially in the area of auto-repair.

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