Published: Apr 01, 2014 12:25 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 01, 2014 7:32 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Criminals are making a profit, and you're the one paying up. WINK News rode along with Cape Coral police officers as they cracked down on the costly crime of insurance fraud.

"It affects everybody. Nobody likes to get hit by an uninsured motorist," said Ralph Garcia. He's is an agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau. He says never underestimate the importance of what these officers, and more than a dozen insurance agents are doing.

"The idea is to let the public aware that the people department and the insurance agencies are working together," he said. 

A big problem in the state, he says, is that some people have fake insurance cards, perhaps have stolen someone elses, or just don't have one. It's against the rules, ane racking up big bills.

"Nationwide insurance fraud is in the millions," said Garcia.

"That sort of fraudulent behavior costs Floridians over several millions of dollars, so we're trying to stem the tide of that loss to the honest tax-paying insurance-paying citizen," said Cape Coral Police Sergeant Joe Zalenski.

Cape Police have been pulling over drivers for traffic violations and after doing so, they check to see that drivers have valid insurance policies.

Florida law calls for license suspensions and fines for driving without insurance.


The Cape Coral Police Department, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and representatives from 24 major insurers in the state of Florida partnered for this operation.

The Cape Coral Police Department deployed 23 officers on the road, and a 4-person investigative task force in support of this operation.

During the course of this operation, officers conducted 161 traffic stops resulting in:

  *   106 Insurance Card checks;
  *   79 Warning Tickets;
  *   61 Citations, and
  *   2 arrests (Driving with suspended license)

Special thanks to the representatives from the many major insurers, including (but not limited to):

  *   Allstate
  *   Auto-Owners Insurance company
  *   Southern Owners
  *   Security National
  *   British West
  *   State Farm
  *   Foremost
  *   21st Century Auto Insurance
  *   Infinity
  *   National General Insurance
  *   GEICO
  *   Farmer's Insurance
  *   GMAC

"Insurance fraud and uninsured motorists cost citizens millions of dollars a year in higher insurance premiums and put people in jeopardy on the roads every day.  We appreciate our partners at the NICB and the representatives from the state's major insurers for their assistance in making this enforcement operation a success."- Det. Sergeant Dana Coston, Cape Coral Police Department Public Affairs Officer.