According to the Insurance Fraud Institute, the overwhelming majority of bodily injury insurance claims are exaggerated claims filed by ordinary citizens seeking reimbursement for high insurance premium costs. These “padded” claims are driving up premium costs and account for up to one-third of all insurance fraud cases. A small percentage of fraudulent automobile accident cases stem from staged accidents or inflated repair shop estimates. One example is if a driver slams on his brakes in front of another car in order to cause a rear-end collision. This is commonly known as a “swoop and squat”. In other automobile insurance fraud cases, body shop owners inflate estimates to profit from doing less repair work for more money.
Phony Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers sometimes exaggerate injuries with the intention of receiving paid work leave, other benefits, or substantial workmen’s compensation settlements. In other cases, workers fake those injuries entirely or claim that an injury occurred in the workplace when it was really sustained at home.
Arson for Profit
Perhaps the most serious and dangerous type of insurance fraud occurs when one deliberately sets fire to a building, vehicle, or other piece of property in order to collect insurance benefits. Claims are made for lost property and valuables—some of which never existed in the first place. These types of frauds sometimes are perpetrated to conceal more serious crimes such as homicides.
Faked Death or Life Insurance Claims
Sometimes people fake their own deaths or the deaths of others so that they can collect life insurance policy benefits. Some fraudsters will go as far as to move to another country, undergo plastic surgery, and assume a deceased person’s identity. After the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, dozens of people filed fake death claims, attempting to capitalize on the tragedy.
Fraudulent Healthcare Billings
Unscrupulous doctors, medical professionals, or lawyers have been known to commit healthcare fraud by billing insurance companies for tests, X-rays, and office visits that never took place. These types of frauds are also commonly related to staged accidents, and swoop and squats.
Sometimes, victims of natural disasters, such as tornados and hurricanes, bill insurance companies for their losses, exaggerating the degree of damage or injury so that they can collect more benefits. During hurricane Katrina many people made insurance claims that were not living in New Orleans at the time storm. Due to the fact thousands of records were destroyed it was difficult for insurance companies to verify information.
If you have become a victim of an insurance fraud and need information or assistance with your case please contact J. Carter Investigation for a free consultation.