Insurance fraud refers to anything done for the purpose of getting an improper payment from an insurance company. There’s no area of the insurance market that is immune to this sort of fraud, and it’s been seen in everything from health insurance to rental insurance.
In Colorado, insurance fraud is usually a felony, carrying jail time and fines as potential punishments in addition to the life consequences a person experiences once they have a felony on their criminal record. If you have been accused of insurance fraud, it’s important to learn more about it and speak to a criminal lawyer in Denver, CO for help as soon as you can.
The Two Main Insurance Fraud Classifications
Regardless of the type of policy involved, there are two main classes of insurance fraud, known as hard and soft.
It’s considered soft insurance fraud if a person makes a claim based on something that really did occur but inflates the value of the claim. For example, if someone with rental insurance is robbed, they could file a claim that intentionally inflates the value of the items taken.
Hard insurance fraud, on the other hand, is the filing of a claim when there’s simply no reason to do so. If a person with auto insurance fakes a car theft to file a claim, for example, they are committing hard insurance fraud. The same applies to a doctor who is billing a patient’s health insurer for services that were never performed.
Insurance Fraud in Colorado
In Colorado, insurance policyholders and others are specifically forbidden from doing anything listed below with the intention of defrauding an insurer:
- Sending in an application for insurance with information missing on purpose or false information.
- Filing a claim for any injury or loss that never happened.
- Causing an accident for the purpose of making a claim.
- Filing a claim for any damages or losses that existed before the person took the policy out (unless this is permitted under the policy).
- Intentionally giving false information in any form, including via written, spoken or electronic statements.
Is an adjuster questioning your claim?
If you have been approached with questions by an insurance adjuster on a claim you have made, it’s entirely possible they are just trying to clarify things. However, if you have been approached several times or something feels off about the way you are being handled, it is possible you are under investigation for insurance fraud and you should contact a criminal lawyer in Denver, CO about your situation.
Insurance fraud is a serious matter in Colorado and usually is charged as a Class 5 felony, which carries a possible jail sentence of one to three years and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Insurance fraud can also be addressed on the federal level in some cases–such as when it crosses state lines–making the situation even more serious. Any time you are facing a potential conviction for insurance fraud, you need experienced legal help on your side. Call a personal injury lawyer in Denver, CO, today to have your case evaluated.
Thank you to the experts at Richard Banta, P.C. for their input into insurance fraud.