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 and the industry as a whole.
Di Lauro was recognized for his work examining a policyholder’s reported water loss, which was found to have been staged. Di Lauro’s investigation saved Mercury nearly $50,000 and, after a criminal trial, the policyholder was sentenced to 17 years in prison 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 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.