Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
The Special Investigations Unit was established in accordance to RCW 48.135.020 (www.leg.wa.gov) and was created by the Washington state Legislature. An advisory board of representatives from the insurance industry, consumers, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, county prosecutors, and law enforcement, was created to oversee the unit and advise the insurance commissioner of its progress.
SIU criminal investigators are certified law-enforcement peace officers with authority to conduct criminal investigations, arrest suspects and submit cases to prosecutors for charges involving fraudulent activities against insurance companies. The unit shares information with federal, state and local law-enforcement officials, insurance companies, and regulatory agencies that investigate insurance fraud and scams. The unit investigates medical fraud, staged auto collisions, property and bogus bodily injury claims, and other types of fraud.
Fraud tips and referrals come from the public, law-enforcement agencies, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and its member companies, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC) employees.
Through the OIC's collaborative efforts with law enforcement, other governmental agencies and the insurance industry, the SIU:
- Criminally prosecutes those who commit insurance fraud (www.leg.wa.gov) to include false medical claims (www.leg.wa.gov)
- Discourages future instances of fraud
- Protects and informs consumers
The SIU director speaks frequently at events to increase awareness of insurance fraud and how to avoid it. Presentations are expressly designed for civic groups, chambers of commerce, and members of the insurance industry.
We also make presentations to the public, private organizations, law enforcement, fire investigators and government agencies.