Articles Tagged with insurance fraud

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates insurance fraud to add up to more than $40 billion per year. Because fraud accounts for 10% of the money that insurance companies pay out each year, insurance premiums are higher for everyone. In the event you are accused of insurance fraud, seek legal representation from an experienced insurance fraud lawyer due to impact the accusation will have on your life.

What is Insurance Fraud?

Insurance fraud is when someone intentionally gives wrong or dishonest information for financial gain. Insurance fraud comes in several forms and include the following:

  • Auto insurance fraud
  • Unemployment insurance fraud
  • Medical or health insurance fraud
  • Committing arson or setting property on fire to collect insurance money
  • Homeowner’s insurance fraud
  • Life insurance fraud

Insurance fraud involves any act of making a false statement relating to an insurance claim. A prime example of insurance fraud is contacting the insurance company with a false accident claim on a vehicle in order to recover funds.

Insurance fraud is a serious offense and the State of California takes it as such. California laws evoke strict punishments for offenders of fraud such as fines and imprisonment.

Fraud Accusations

If you are intentionally making false statements in order to gain something that you would not have otherwise had, you are committing insurance fraud.

Sometimes when a person loses money, they will point the finger at someone else and accuse them of insurance fraud. An investigation will be launched. Then, investigating authorities and law enforcement will gather evidence such as audio recordings, cameras, cell phones, and interviewers’ others.

Law enforcement authorities will use tactics during interrogation to get you to admit that you committed insurance fraud by telling you that they have evidence against you. For these reasons, you should have a skilled insurance fraud lawyer by your side. Your lawyer will be able to fight the accusations with one word – intent.

Intent is the primary defense in insurance fraud. For you to be convicted of insurance fraud, intent must be proven. You must have intended to defraud. You must also be aware or knowledgeable of the fact that you are defrauding the insurance company. Your lawyer will work to dispute the allegation and prove your innocence by using the intent defense as well as any other defenses and strategies that apply to your unique accusation.

I am Facing Charges for Insurance Fraud. What do I do?

Get legal advice immediately. Do not try to handle insurance fraud alone. Contact an experienced insurance fraud defense attorney now. Remember, law enforcement will use anything you say can be used against you in court. Continue reading

According to the California Department of Insurance, insurance fraud occurs when someone knowingly lies to obtain a benefit or advantage to which they are not otherwise entitled. Insurance Fraud also occurs when an insurance company knowingly denies a benefit that is due and to which someone is entitled. 

Other than tax evasion, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) identifies insurance fraud as the second most costly crime in the country. You may ask yourself, “Why would anyone want to commit insurance fraud?” The answer is simple – for financial gain. Two examples of insurance fraud include:  

  •   report of a San Diego dentist facing 75 felony counts of insurance fraud after allegedly collecting false claims for root canals she never performed.
  • An article about a Yorba Linda man being charged after using stolen identities to receive unemployment insurance benefits.

There are different laws that apply to insurance fraud in California. These laws state:

  • Anyone who willfully injures, destroys, abandons, or disposes of any insured property with intent to defraud the insurer can face jail time up to five years and fines of up to $50,000. 
  • Anyone who solicits, accepts, or refers business with the intention of defrauding an insurance company can face up to three years in jail.
  • Anyone who commits any of the following act can be found guilty of either a misdemeanor or felony crime and face up to five years in prison:
    • Makes or aids in making a false insurance claim;
    • Makes several claims for the same injury or loss;
    • Knowingly cause an auto accident with the intent to collect insurance money;
    • Knowingly file a false or fraudulent medical insurance claim with the purpose of collecting money; and
    • Submit information to support a false or fraudulent insurance claim.

As you can see, there are several categories of insurance fraud — auto, medical, and property. Today, we will focus on auto insurance fraud, which is the most common type of fraud in California. 

Auto Insurance Fraud and California Law

Auto insurance fraud is defined as any criminal fraud that involves auto insurance. If you are intentionally performing the four acts below for personal and financial gain, you are committing auto insurance fraud in California.

 

  • Abandoning or Damaging Your Car: When you leave your car somewhere or use other methods to dispose of your vehicle, you are committing auto insurance fraud.  The same goes if you are burning your car, dumping it in the river, or developing other ways to damage your property. 
  • Providing Insurance Agency with False Information: If you’re giving the insurance company the wrong registration information, you are committing auto insurance fraud. Insurance companies base the price of premiums on location, and if you are scheming to avoid paying higher premiums for your own personal financial gain, you are defrauding your insurance company. In the end, you are cheating yourself and other members of the general public.
  • Filing Multiple Claims for the Same Car Accident: You are committing auto insurance fraud by making more than one claim to the same insurance agency or filing claims with different agencies with hopes of recovering financially.  
  • Filing False Auto Insurance Claims: If you are faking auto accidents or even exaggerating an incident so you can file a false auto claim, you are defrauding an insurance company. As a result, you are committing auto insurance fraud and could face charges.

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