What Is the SIU?
Every insurance company in the United States has a Special Investigative Unit, or SIU. After being in an accident, your insurance claims adjuster may tell you that he or she has to refer your personal injury or damages claim to the SIU. This may be a new term for you, and you might not realize what the SIU has to do with your accident claim. If an insurance adjuster tells you he or she is handing your claim over to the SIU, learn what this means for your case and your future.
Duties of the Special Investigative Unit
An SIU exists as a subset of every insurance company than handles property damage or personal injury claims in America. Your insurance company’s SIU division consists of special claims adjusters who have extensive knowledge regarding insurance claims. Their knowledge doesn’t end with the insurance industry, however – they are also experts in law enforcement. The SIU’s mission is to help insurance companies detect, prevent, and record insurance fraud.
The SIU works closely with the local law enforcement community, including the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as police departments. These organizations work alongside your insurance company’s SIU, training new SIU team members to prosecute fraud cases in Phoenix. If your insurance claims adjuster tells you the SIU is taking over your case, it should alert you that something you said about your accident sent up a red flag against you or someone else on the claim for fraud. Now, the SIU will investigate your case for signs of insurance fraud.
Insurance fraud is a common problem plaguing the U.S. A person might have accidentally backed into a fence post but say it was a hit and run to receive insurance money to repair the vehicles. This is an example of insurance fraud. Other examples include staging an accident, falsifying injury claims, or lying about vehicle thefts to receive an insurance settlement check.
Fraudsters make the average policyholder, who pays his or her monthly bills and abides by the law, suffer by creating the need for agencies like the SIU. SIU investigations can significantly delay the processing of legitimate car accident claims. As soon as your insurance company hears something that could point to fraud in your story, you’ll face an in-depth investigation with the SIU and its affiliates.
What to Expect During an SIU Investigation
Once your claim is the hands of the SIU, expect the investigative process to become much more thorough. You may have to be interviewed under oath in front of a court reporter, meet with medical specialists, undergo an extensive background check, and have your activities shadowed. The SIU, with help from the FBI and local law enforcement, will vet you as completely as necessary to prove or disprove fraud. The SIU has a team of private investigators to watch insurance fraud suspects and catch them in an incriminating activity. The SIU investigative process is extensive and follows every lead until they get to the bottom of the case.
Your insurance claims adjuster will not refer your case to the SIU lightly. SIU intervention costs the insurance company more money than a standard claims procedure. In most cases, an adjuster will only involve the SIU if he or she believes there is a strong case against you or another involved party for fraud. If your adjuster does refer your case over, ask why. The adjuster should tell you if something you said seemed suspicious and the SIU will be investigating you, or if the problem lies with someone else involved in the crash.