You are here

54 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 61 (2015)
Granting Unwarranted Relief: How Kentucky Courts Perpetuate Fraud Through an Unsound Interpretation of the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act
Brad Schmidt*
Abstract
    Insurance fraud is a low-risk and highly profitable crime. In fact, if every person who was known to commit insurance fraud each year collectively formed a company, it would register as seventeenth among all Fortune 500 companies in annual income. In terms of dollars, it is estimated that over $80 billion is stolen annually through insurance fraud. And as the profitability of fraud increases, so do insurance premiums and the costs for all goods and services. Insurance fraud is a crime that hurts everyone.
    Motor vehicle insurance remains an area that is extremely susceptible to fraud. More than one-third of all people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents exaggerate their injuries while nearly one-third of doctors exaggerate the severity of their patients’ injuries to allow prolonged hospital stays. Fraud, in the context of motor vehicle insurance, forces insurance providers to increase policy premiums in order to dispel the increased costs. For Kentucky residents, this should be particularly troubling. The average Kentucky policy premium for motor vehicle insurance is $500 more than the Ohio average, $300 more than the Indiana average, and $200 more than the Tennessee average. And to make matters worse, Kentucky courts have incentivized fraud through their loose interpretation of Kentucky’s motor vehicle insurance laws.
* * J.D. Candidate, May 2016, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville.