AUTO INSURANCE FRAUD is a Serious accusation that can cause numerous hardships including felony convictions, prison sentences, probation, parole, loss of voting rights, deportation, immigration consequences, and prohibition on ownership, possession, or use of firearms.
The Tulare County District Attorney's office has provided an information brochure on this topic which in whole or in part relates the following.
COMMON TYPES OF AUTO INSURANCE FRAUD:
Owner disposes of vehicle, often setting it on fire or having it stripped, in order to collect on their insurance.
]False or Inflated Claims:
Upon filling a claim, owner inflates the value of items lost or destroyed, or will add items not actually stolen.
Scammers stage fake accidents and then file claims for vehicle damage and personal injury.
False Injury Claims:
Owners or associates fraudulently claim j to themselves during an actual or staged accident.
Vandalism to own Vehicle:
Owner vandalizes vehicle to get a new paint job or other repair.
INSURANCE FRAUD PREVENTION
In Tulare County, they District Attorney has an active auto insurance fraud unit that investigates and prosecutes these types of crimes. You can asist our efforts to eliminate insurance fraud by reporting all of the follwoing:
* Anyone who asks you to assist with committing insurance fraud.
* If you see a vehicle on fire, especially in a rural area
* Any suspicious autho activity
* If someone brags to you about committing insurance fraud.
INSURANCE FRAUD CONSEQUENCES:
Insurance fraud is a serious crime that can result in 2-5 years of incarceration and up to $50,000 or more in fines.
Insurance fraud is not a victim-less crime. An insurance company that is forced to pay false claims will raise its rates in order to cover the difference.
Insurance fraud costs Americans billion of dollars each year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau
What is Auto Insurance Fraud?
Auto insurance fraud is committed when someone lies to an insurance company to obtain money they are not entitled to.
The false claim may be for vehicle damage, personal injury or both.
The claim may be made by one person, or it may be the work of a group of scammers.
Advances in forensics and investigative techniques have increased law enforcement's ability to detect insurance fraud.
The most likely result of filing a false claim is hat no money will be paid out and the perpetrators will be criminally prosecuted.
A few things that are not in the brochure, are the actual elements of Auto Insurance Fraud and the statute:
PC 548 Defraud an Insurer -- Elements:
1. Defendant willfully injured, destroyed, secreted, abandoned, or disposed of property.
2. Said property was insured against loss or damage by theft, embezzlement or any casualty.
3. Defendant acted with intent to defraud or prejudice the insurer, whether the property was the property of, or in the possession of the insurer or another person.