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Little white lies and insurance fraud can mean big trouble

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2017 | Criminal Defense

Have you ever lied to your insurance company? Imagine this scenario, your kids have been playing baseball in the backyard for years, and one day you went out to check on them and noticed hundreds of pockmarks across the aluminum siding on the back of your house.

Not having enough money to pay for the damage, you decided to call your insurance company for an inspection of the damage. The thing is, you weren’t entirely honest with the insurance company about what happened.

The danger of lying to your insurance company

You were concerned that your home insurance company wouldn’t give you money to pay for baseball damages, so you created a story: You told the insurance company your home got damaged in a hailstorm. At the time, it seemed reasonable enough to sign the paperwork to certify that your story was absolutely true, and you were excited to get a check to pay for the damage.

The problem is, your insurance company didn’t leave the matter alone. The “hail damage” story triggered an internal investigation, which later caused you to be accused of insurance fraud. Now you’re defending yourself in court against criminal charges that will come with serious and costly consequences if you’re convicted.

What factors will result in an insurance fraud conviction?

There are several factors that need to be present in order for an insurance fraud conviction to occur. Generally, if the following three factors are present in your case, you could be in danger of a fraud conviction:

  • You knowingly made misleading or untrue statements to your insurance company.
  • Your false or misleading statement was made related to an insurance claim or insurance payment.
  • The statement that you made had a material impact on the outcome of your insurance claim.

Plan your fraud defense carefully

In extreme cases, a defendant convicted of insurance fraud may need to spend time in jail and pay costly fines. As such, defendants will want to plan the navigation of their criminal proceedings carefully in a way that minimizes the threat — or severity — of punishments related to their alleged crimes.