2C:21-4.4 Findings, Declarations Relative to Insurance Fraud
71. With respect to sections 72 through 74 of P.L.2003, c.89 (C.2C:21-4.5 through C.2C:21-4.7), the Legislature finds and declares:
a.Insurance fraud is inimical to public safety, welfare and order within the State of New Jersey. Insurance fraud is pervasive and expensive, costing consumers and businesses millions of dollars in direct and indirect losses each year. Insurance fraud increases insurance premiums, to the detriment of individual policyholders, small businesses, large corporations and governmental entities. All New Jerseyans ultimately bear the societal burdens and costs caused by those who commit insurance fraud.
b.The problem of insurance fraud must be confronted aggressively by facilitating the detection, investigation and prosecution of such misconduct, as well as by reducing its occurrence and achieving deterrence through the implementation of measures that more precisely target specific conduct constituting insurance fraud.
c.To enable more efficient prosecution of criminally culpable persons who knowingly commit or assist or conspire with others in committing fraud against insurance companies, it is necessary to establish a crime of “insurance fraud” to directly and comprehensively criminalize this type of harmful conduct, with substantial criminal penalties to punish wrongdoers and to appropriately deter others from such illicit activity.
d.In addition to criminal penalties, in order to maintain the public trust and ensure the integrity of professional licensees and certificate-holders who by virtue of their professions are involved in insurance transactions, it is appropriate to provide civil remedial provisions governing license or certificate forfeiture and suspension tailored to this new crime of insurance fraud and other criminal insurance-related activities.
e.To enhance the State’s ability to detect insurance fraud, which will lead to more productive investigations and, ultimately, more successful criminal prosecutions, it is appropriate to provide members of the public with significant incentives to come forward when they may have reasonable suspicions or knowledge of a person or persons committing insurance fraud. The establishment of an Insurance Fraud Detection Reward Program will enable the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor to obtain information which may lead to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of persons or entities who have committed insurance-related fraud.