Insurance fraud happens when someone deceives or defrauds an insurance company in order to collect money. This type of fraud is a crime in all fifty states, and the majority of the states have created fraud bureaus to identify and investigate fraud incidents. Fraudulent claims can be either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the nature of the fraud committed. In general, nearly any fraud that involves an insurance company can be considered insurance fraud. Common insurance fraud activities include:
By some estimates, insurance fraud costs the insurance industry upwards of $80 billion a year, which is then inevitably passed on to consumers. Thus, it is in the best interest of both the insurance companies and individuals who need insurance of any kind to be aware of insurance fraud.
In order for the prosecutor to be able to convict the defendant of insurance fraud, the following elements must be met:
Insurance fraud covers many different types of fraud. A few of the more common types of insurance fraud include:
Insured people are not the only ones that commit insurance fraud. It is possible for a criminal to indirectly commit insurance fraud by conning the insured, thus resulting in the insurance company to have to pay a claim to the insured. Moreover, if the insurance company refuses to compensate the insured party who was defrauded, they may be acting in bad faith and subject to fines and other liability.
Insurance fraud penalties can be put into two categories called either “soft fraud” or “hard fraud.”
Insurance companies do not take fraudulent claims lightly, and they generally have the resources to pursue a fraud claim to the end. Insurance fraud can be considered a very serious crime because of the amount of money at stake. If you are accused of or have been a victim of insurance fraud, you should consider consulting a criminal defense attorney to learn more about your rights, defenses, and the what to expect while dealing with the legal system.
Last Modified: 03-14-2018 02:05 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.