Insurance companies are using jewelry to hide claims and cover up fraud, according to a report by a leading Jewish law firm.
The law firm of the Institute for Justice published a report Monday detailing how insurance companies are offering false claims for jewelry.
The Institute for Judea and Samaria said that, “by paying claims for fake jewelry and by concealing fraudulent jewelry claims, insurance companies risk losing billions of dollars in revenue and exposing innocent people to fraud, deception, and abuse.”
The Institute says insurers are increasingly turning to fake jewelry as a way to hide their losses, as more and more Americans turn to online shopping to shop for personal protection.
“As jewelry becomes more valuable, insurers are using it to hide losses and cover their own,” said Sarah Schoenfeld, the Institute’s executive director.
“It’s a sneaky way to make money off people.”
Schoenfeld and IJ released their report in conjunction with the World Jewish Congress conference in New York City, which is drawing millions of people to the United States for its annual convention.
The Jewish community has been pushing to change the way insurance companies assess claims and provide discounts to consumers.
The IJ report found that insurers have been charging for jewelry items that were not actually worn by the wearer.
For example, insurance agents are charging up to $30 for a bracelet with fake diamonds, and up to nearly $50 for a necklace that is made of fake beads.
And when the jewelry items are sold as genuine, they may cost much less than what would be charged for the actual jewelry.IJ said that insurance companies have also charged inflated premiums for jewelry for products such as “wristbands” that are worn around the wrist or neck.
In some cases, insurance claims may even be inflated by as much as $1,000, with the cost for items such as earrings and bracelets sometimes even exceeding $20.
Schoenfield said the real issue is not just that insurers are trying to avoid paying out claims.
It’s also that insurers don’t want to give consumers a chance to correct their mistakes.
She said she wants insurance companies to stop charging insurance claims based on what’s in a person’s hand, rather than what’s on the bracelet or necklace.