After last year’s three-hurricane punch, several U.S. agencies issued disaster fraud alerts. But the government isn’t the only target of scammers after weather-related catastrophes. Property/casualty insurers are also dealing with the rising cost of disaster fraud.

Executive Summary

An estimated 10 percent of incurred losses resulting from disasters is fraudulent. With insured losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria coming in at around $85 billion, that equates to about $8.5 billion in disaster-related fraud just last year. To combat the fraud, insurers are eyeing satellites to complement their aerial imagery arsenal.

According to a report released last year by the National White Collar Crime Center, an estimated 10 percent of incurred losses resulting from disasters is fraudulent. Aon Benfield estimated insured losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria at around $85 billion—that equates to about $8.5 billion in disaster-related fraud just last year. There’s reason for concern, as the number of major disaster declarations has nearly doubled in the past 30 years.

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