I absolutely enjoy every aspect of this job – the investigation into the claim, the pursuit of fraud, getting into the mind of what the insured is doing, and ultimately protecting our insured from those who are engaging in criminal activity.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 4, 2019) – Mark Di Lauro, a member of the Mercury Insurance Special Investigations Unit (SIU) team, was recently named the 2019 Investigator of the Year by the Southern California Chapter of International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU). The highly prestigious IASIU Awards are given on an annual basis to individuals who have displayed outstanding investigative services to their organizations, as well as to the industry as a whole.
Di Lauro, who has been an investigator for Mercury’s SIU for nearly three years, was recognized for his work examining a policyholder’s reported water loss. His investigation revealed that the loss had, in fact, been staged and his findings saved Mercury nearly $50,000. Additionally, the policyholder was sentenced to 17 years in prison after a criminal trial and ordered to pay more than $900,000 in restitution to various insurance carriers.
“I am very proud of the award,” said Di Lauro. “I would like to think that it not only encompasses this particular claim, but a culmination of claims that we investigate that result in millions of dollars of savings for our policyholders each year. I firmly believe that this was a team award for Mercury SIU and not just my individual award.
“I absolutely enjoy every aspect of this job – the investigation into the claim, the pursuit of fraud, getting into the mind of what the insured is doing, and ultimately protecting our insured from those who are engaging in criminal activity.”
Mercury’s SIU, which was founded in 1978, consists of 40 seasoned investigators in 11 states who work to catch the fraudulent claims filed every year by white-collar con artists, shady doctors and lawyers, and even the occasional celebrity. Insurance fraud, the second most costly white-collar crime in America behind tax evasion, accounts for at least 10 percent of property and casualty claims, and cost citizens billions of dollars each year. The SIU exists to prevent phony payouts and exaggerated claims stemming from staged accidents, arson, auto and identity theft, and padding of medical expenses, to keep rates low for Mercury policyholders.
The public can do its part to help lower insurance costs by reporting suspicious activity to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and business insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information, visit www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.
About the Mercury Special Investigations Unit
Whether it's a staged car crash, home arson or exaggerated injuries and suspect medical billing, criminals are creating new ways to cheat their insurance company, necessitating the existence of groups like the Mercury Insurance SIU – the CSI of the insurance industry.
Mercury's SIU was founded in 1978, becoming one of the first companies to create an investigative department to combat insurance fraud. Since its inception, the SIU, which employs more than 40 seasoned investigators nationwide, has exposed thousands of fraudulent auto, home and medical claims, saving policyholders millions of dollars annually. The SIU mission: prevent phony payouts, which helps maintain low premiums for Mercury customers.