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Think Twice When Someone Claims to Act on Behalf of Your Insurer

In the wake of an insurance claim, it’s common to feel stressed and unsure of your next step.

If you’re ever in this situation, it’s possible that you’ll encounter someone falsely claiming to be acting on behalf of an insurance company. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a nonprofit organization that partners with insurers and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution of insurance criminals, there have been reports of medical professionals, attorneys, body shop owners and others telling individuals involved in a claim that they’re acting on behalf of ERIE or another insurer.

“These people are known as runners, and they may send you a letter, call you or even show up on your doorstep,” says Ron Bryant, a senior fraud investigator in ERIE’s Indiana Branch who has 19 years of experience in fraud investigation. “They may even tell you that your insurance company wants you to use their services. ERIE would never do that.” While some states have laws prohibiting such solicitations, many others do not.

While you’re free to use the services of any doctor, attorney or other service professional in the aftermath of a claim, it’s important to exercise caution if someone claims to be acting on behalf of your insurer.

“These runners may even receive special payments for other referrals they make,” explains Ron. “Know the facts and use your best judgment if you’re ever in this kind of situation.”

The NICB agrees with Ron’s advice.  “The NICB recommends that following an accident or other loss, you contact your insurance company before speaking to any service provider, including doctors, lawyers, repairmen and tow truck drivers,” says Carol Kaplan, director of public affairs for the NICB. “Often, unscrupulous service providers will contact policy holders without being solicited and this is often a red flag.  Our advice: If you didn’t request it, reject it.”

It’s also worth remembering that ERIE has 24/7 claims support if you need to report an incident.

ERIEĀ® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.