Insurance policies may provide the financial security drivers, homeowners and business proprietors rely upon for their well-being. When an insurance company sells someone a policy, the company assumes the risks associated with the client and must pay valid claims. A fraudulent claim is not valid, but many clients could file a dubious claim intending to extract money from the insurer. Such actions may lead to criminal charges in California.
Insurance fraud and criminal actions
Fraud involves an attempt to procure money based on false statements, evidence or other deceptive tactics. With insurance fraud, someone may overstate damages or losses to acquire a larger settlement. Or, a homeowner could perform home renovations and lie about inclement weather causing the damage necessitating the repairs. Car owners might falsely claim someone stole and wrecked an old vehicle and file a loss claim.
Insurance fraud might involve kickback schemes with investigators or bribery with others involved in the process. Fraud may commence early in the process, such as when someone lies when applying for a policy. Yes, there are several ways fraud could manifest, and many people attempting insurance fraud find themselves suspects in an investigation.
Dealing with fraud charges or investigations
Like other allegations of white-collar crimes, insurance fraud investigations might derive from mistakes and misunderstandings. Someone might overstate the value of destroyed property because they relied on bad advice. Or, a person could put wrong information on an insurance claim after making an honest mistake. Errors and other problems may raise red flags that lead to fraud investigations and criminal charges.
Countering fraud claims with evidence showing no intention to defraud took place may serve as a valid defense. People make negligent or gross mistakes, but such actions might not rise to criminal fraud. Other defenses to fraud claims could also work in the accused’s favor.