Insurers in New York are scratching their heads at the upsurge in fraudulent claims. According to the recently released New York State Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau Annual Report for 2009, the state has seen a 24% increase in insurance fraud-related convictions.

Convictions include the owner of a Westchester County pizzeria, a Monticello insurance underwriter, a Monroe County podiatrist and an Erie County woman who bought insurance to fix a car that had already been wrecked, notes the report.

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