About the Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
The insurance commissioner's anti-fraud unit, known as the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), was created by the Washington State Legislature (www.apps.leg.wa.gov) in 2006. The unit is part of the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). It's advised by a 10-member board.
SIU's criminal investigators are certified law-enforcement peace officers, with authority to conduct criminal investigations, arrest suspects, and submit cases to prosecutors for charges. They investigate medical and prescription fraud, staged auto collisions, bogus bodily injury claims, and other types of fraud.
Tips come from law enforcement, National Insurance Crime Bureau member companies, OIC staff, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the public.
Through the OIC's collaborative efforts with law enforcement, other governmental agencies, the insurance industry and prosecutors, the unit's members work to:
- Criminally prosecute those who commit insurance fraud (www.apps.leg.wa.gov), including false medical (www.apps.leg.wa.gov) claims,
- Deter future instances of fraud, and
- Obtain restitution for victims, including insurers.
Immediate loss prevented, projected loss prevented and restitution sought
SIU's director speaks frequently at events to increase awareness of insurance fraud and how to avoid it. Presentations are designed for civic groups, chambers of commerce and members of the insurance industry.
The SIU also provides insurance fraud presentations to law enforcement, fire investigators and other government agencies.