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Senate bill makes it easier to collar insurance fraud

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You have to know you’ve been wronged before you can start the process to make things right. That’s the gist of bipartisan legislation that passed the Senate today after having been adopted earlier in the session by the House.

House Bill 1048, introduced in the House by Democratic Lafayette Rep. Mike Foote and carried in the Senate by Republican Sen. Jim Smallwood of Parker, extends the time in which legal action can be taken against insurance fraud.

As the Senate GOP explained in a press release today:

Under current law, the statute of limitations for prosecuting insurance fraud begins when the crime is committed.

House Bill 17-1048 clarifies the procedure to ensure that the statute of limitations begins when the crime is discovered, giving victim’s adequate time to take action.

Additionally, the bill expands immunity to cover both primary and secondary agencies and insurers who are authorized to act in good faith and provide evidence or information on acts of insurance fraud.

Smallwood, quoted in the press release, said the bill can serve as a hedge against rising insurance premiums.

“Insurance fraud is a nightmare for law-abiding consumers…When a few people try to beat the system, we all end up paying higher rates to support them. Lowering the cost of insurance is an ongoing priority, and one way we can bring those prices down is by ensuring that we’re not allowing anyone to get a free ride on the backs of hardworking, Coloradans.”

The measure gets one more procedural vote in the Senate and then, having made it through the upper chamber without amendments, goes to the governor for his signature.

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