The number of questionable claims increased 16 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to new data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. There were 116,171 questionable claims filed in 2012, 100,201 filed in 2011 and 91,652 filed in 2010.

Of the 44 policy types identified in the 2012 questionable claims data, personal automobile was the most common type with 78,024. Personal property: homeowners (17,183) was second, followed by workers’ compensation and employers’ liability (4,459), commercial automobile (3,554), commercial liability: general liability (2,650), and personal property: other, which saw the biggest year-to-year increase in terms of percentage, jumping from 1,090 questionable claims in 2011 to 2,621 in 2012.

Bodily injury, theft and collision were the most common loss types cited among the questionable claims. Accordingly, faked/exaggerated injury was the most common referral reason among questionable claims, with questionable theft and prior loss/damage following in suit.

Broken down geographically, California (21,935) received the most questionable claims for the third year in a row, receiving as many as the next two states put together — Florida (10,693) and Texas (10,368).

New York (9,059), Maryland (4,296), Georgia (4,126), North Carolina (3,855), Illinois (3,538), Pennsylvania (3,353) and Ohio (3,289) rounded out the top 10 states with the most questionable claims.

However, when the states are ranked by questionable claims per 100,000 people, the District of Columbia has held the dubious top spot for the last three years, retaining it in 2012 despite a drop in overall questionable claims from 548 to 522.

There are only three states who have held flat rates or decreased questionable claims per 100,000 people: Utah (0% change from 2010 to 2012), Illinois (0% change), Nevada (decreased by 13%) and Michigan (decreased by 37%).

When ranking cities, New York (5,140) held the top spot for the third year in a row with more questionable claims than all but four states, followed by Los Angeles (3,246), Miami (2,309), Houston (2,010) and Baltimore (1,594).

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