MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Insurance fraud is growing in Minnesota. Experts say this crime alone costs the average family more than $1,400 a year in higher insurance premiums.

In response, state legislators are putting forth a bill to tackle the problem. Right now, the focus is on curbing cases of auto and medical insurance fraud.

Sen. Vicki Jensen and Rep. Tim Sanders say they will introduce legislation Thursday afternoon that will hopefully reduce, and eventually eliminate, insurance fraud in the state.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau said that in 2013, there were 1,700 reports of fraud in Minnesota. The agency said there’s been an increase in medical schemes involving fake injuries and billings.

It’s also seen problems with staged car accidents and instances of shady medical providers.

At a press conference, the Ramsey and Anoka county attorneys said that Minnesota is being targeted by out-of-state insurance crime rings. They couldn’t give specific details or a number, but said right now they are investigating these cases.

The legislation being introduced would provide more financial resources to the state’s anti-fraud unit and add a civil penalty up to $25,000 to the insurance fraud statute.

How does Minnesota compare to other states when it comes to fraud cases?

The insurance research council just released some new numbers.

Florida tops the list at 31 percent. New York has the number two spot at 24 percent. Massachusetts and Minnesota tie for the third highest rate of fraud. Both at 22 percent.

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