Call us Toll Free 866-984-2677
New York: (212) 710-5616 | Florida: (305) 677-7568
Client Login/New Case Referral »


What is an SIU?

The special investigations unit (SIU) plays an important role in the insurance industry, helping to protect both insurers and policyholders from costly fraud. As insurance companies continue to invest more resources into preventing fraudulent activity, SIU has emerged as a key part of their anti-fraud efforts.

SIU’s are typically a team of professionals with expertise in fraud detection and investigation. They work closely with insurance companies to identify potential areas of fraud within policy applications, claims processing, and other related activities. Their investigative skills can help uncover suspicious activity or patterns that may indicate fraudulent behavior.

Though SIU is an independent entities, they still require access to confidential information within the insurance company’s systems so that they can perform an effective SIU investigation. Through this access, SIUs can detect and investigate fraud at an early stage, which can help prevent financial losses for both insurers and policyholders.

By utilizing special investigations unit, insurance companies can reduce their risk of fraud and protect their bottom line. The role of an SIU is essential in helping the insurance industry achieve success in this increasingly complex landscape.

What is an SIU investigation?

An SIU investigation is an independent investigation conducted by the special investigations unit in order to uncover evidence of insurance fraud. The SIU team will look into suspicious activities and patterns, such as false claims or policy applications with inaccurate information. They may also require access to confidential information in order to build their case.

The results of SIU investigations can result in criminal charges or civil penalties against individuals involved in fraudulent activity. It can also help to protect insurers from future losses due to fraudulent behavior.

When did SIU start?

Special investigations units (SIUs) have been around for many years, but their role has changed since they started. Originally, SIUs was set up to investigate major insurance claims and criminal activity related to them.

However, in recent years, the focus of special investigation units has become more wide-ranging. Nowadays, these teams are responsible for investigating all kinds of suspicious activity including fraud and scams involving auto theft and life insurance policies as well as other types of insurance claims.

In addition to investigating potential fraud cases, special investigation units now also assist with training and education programs related to insurance fraud detection and prevention. They can also help coordinate special operations between public agencies such as law enforcement departments and private organizations like insurance companies.

How does a special investigations unit helps identify and prevent insurance fraud?

insurance fraud

Special investigations units (SIUs) are dedicated to combating insurance fraud and helping insurers protect their bottom line. Through the use of special investigative techniques, SIUs can detect suspicious activity or patterns that may indicate fraudulent behavior. This early detection can help prevent costly losses for both insurers and policyholders.

In addition to their investigative skills, special investigations units also have access to confidential information within an insurance company’s systems. With this access, they can review policies and claims documents more thoroughly, question individuals involved in the claim process, examine financial records, and conduct field interviews with parties that could know about the incident. By utilizing special investigations unit in this capacity, insurance companies can better monitor their risks and identify potential areas of fraud.

Insurance Fraud Statistics

special investigations unit

Insurance fraud is a major issue for insurers and policyholders alike, with an estimated cost of $80 billion annually in the United States alone. This figure includes both hard (criminal) and soft (civil) fraud, meaning that the perpetrator either knows they are committing a crime or does not know they are behaving unlawfully.

The most common type of insurance fraud involves exaggerated or false claims, which account for 61% of all fraudulent activity according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud’s 2020 report. That same report estimates that false automobile collision claims make up roughly 83% of false claims, while property damage accounts for 11%.

Other forms of insurance fraud include identity theft, misrepresentations on policies or applications, premium avoidance, and staged auto collisions. These types of fraud are especially damaging to insurance companies, as they often involve large amounts of money that must be paid out in claims or settlements.

How long does an insurance company have to make a decision?

insurance company

When an insurance company receives a claim, they typically have a set timeframe in which to make their decision. This period is known as the “decision time limit” and it varies depending on the type of policy and the specifics of the case.

In general, life and health policies often have shorter decision time limits than property or casualty policies due to their more complex nature. For example, a death benefits claim may require additional documentation or verification before any benefits can be paid out. In these cases, insurers generally have up to 60 days from receipt of all required documents to make their decision.

If special investigations are deemed necessary, this could potentially extend the decision time limit for certain types of claims. During an SIU Investigation, SIUs will investigate the facts and circumstances of a case to identify any signs of fraud or suspicious activity. If any evidence of fraud is uncovered, the insurer has the right to deny payment for the claim.

Therefore, a special investigation unit can help insurance companies make informed decisions by providing them with critical evidence needed to determine whether or not a claim should be paid.

What is the role of a SIU investigator?

The role of an SIU investigator is to conduct investigations into suspected insurance fraud, scams, and other suspicious activities.

An SIU investigator can use a wide range of resources such as databases, financial records, surveillance footage, and witness statements to identify fraudulent claims and criminal activity related to them. They must also have an understanding of the laws and regulations governing the insurance industry so they can adequately protect the rights of policyholders.

An SIU investigator also plays an important role in providing training and education to other professionals such as adjusters. This helps ensure that insurance companies do not become victims of fraudulent claims or scams.

What is the role of the National Insurance Crime Bureau?

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is a non-profit organization that works to prevent and detect insurance fraud. This agency works in collaboration with special investigations units (SIUs) of many major insurers to gather information, analyze data, and share intelligence related to criminal activities involving insurance companies.

The NICB has access to numerous databases which they use to identify fraudulent claims and criminal activity. They can use this information to determine patterns and identify fraud, identify suspicious individuals or groups involved in insurance crimes, and alert law enforcement agencies if necessary.

To help detect potential fraud cases, the NICB also offers special resources such as their VINCheck system for car owners. This service allows policyholders to check the history of a vehicle to ensure that it has not been stolen or involved in any suspicious activity.

The NICB also provides special training and education courses related to insurance fraud detection, investigation techniques, and anti-fraud techniques for an SIU.

In addition to their work with an SIU, the NICB also works with other organizations such as state and federal government agencies, local law enforcement, and private sector organizations to help prevent insurance fraud. By working together with these groups, they can more effectively identify potential fraudulent activity and take appropriate action.

Do private investigator firms have a special investigative unit?

special investigations unit

While many private investigation firms provide special investigative services, they typically do not have a special investigative unit. Most private investigators specialize in certain areas such as background checks, surveillance, or conducting interviews and interrogations.

Private investigator firms may be able to assist a special investigations unit when needed, but it is not their primary focus. Private investigators are more commonly used for more specific tasks such as determining the whereabouts of a person or following a suspect who is believed to be involved in criminal activity related to insurance fraud.


A special investigations unit (SIU) is an invaluable resource for insurers and individuals seeking justice after being victimized by fraudulent schemes. By working together with other organizations and providing special training and education programs, SIUs can help protect policyholders from insurance-related crimes.