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NYC Auto Insurance Fraud Lawyers21 Jul 2016

The Reality Of Auto Insurance Fraud

According to the New York Attorney General, auto insurance fraud costs the citizens of New York millions of dollars in losses each year. Any individual who is licensed in New York by the state Insurance Department, such as insurers, brokers, insurance agents and others, are required by law to report any type of suspected insurance fraud. They must notify the Insurance Department’s Insurance Fraud Bureau. When such a report is made, an extensive investigation will take place by the department and local law enforcement.

Fraudulent Insurance Act
Insurance fraud is covered in New York Penal Law Article 176. Each category of fraud is classified by degrees. These types of offenses can be as minor as a Class A Misdemeanor and go up to a Class B Felony. According to Section 10 of Article 176, an individual is considered guilty of insurance fraud when they commit a fraudulent insurance act. This includes intentionally presenting or intending to present an insurer with untrue information. Intentionally withholding or hiding information from an insurer and more.

Auto Insurance Fraud Investigation
New York is a no-fault auto insurance state. According to the Insurance Information Institute, no-fault insurance schemes are responsible for increasing the price of auto insurance policies in New York by more than $220 million. No-fault insurance fraud is very common in New York, and auto insurance companies are aggressive when it comes to identifying any type of fraud. Auto insurance companies will carefully analyze a copy of the police report, interview witnesses as well as visit the crash scene, take photographs of the damaged vehicles, the crash scene. They may even speak with medical providers as well as ask for a release of medical records and more.

Indications of Auto Insurance Fraud
Some indications that auto insurance fraud occurred are the vehicle repair bills not matching the damage that was alleged to have occurred. The VIN of the insured vehicle does not match the vehicle that was damaged. The photographs with the appraisal are questionable. There were no witnesses to the accident. The garage where the vehicle’s repairs took place has a history of high damage claims. There were not physical injuries, but the vehicle was heavily damaged. An auto insurance claim is filed very soon after getting the insurance policy.

Soft And Hard Auto Insurance Fraud
Soft auto insurance fraud happens when an individual exaggerates the damages when they have a legitimate accident. A person can be hurt as a result of an accident, but when they try to make their injuries out to be far worse than they really are, it is considered soft insurance fraud. Hard insurance fraud is when individuals fake an accident for the sole reason of making an insurance claim. No actual collision happens. This is simply a fraud scheme used to cause a crash and then make an injury claim once the accident has occurred.

Criminal Charges
It is possible for an investigation to result in a person being arrested on serious criminal charges associated with auto insurance fraud. The amount of money involved, injuries that resulted, type of fraud schemes utilized and more will determine the type of charges an individual receives. A person found guilty of fourth-degree auto insurance fraud is facing an E Felony. They could be fined up to $1,000 and spend four years in prison. A third-degree conviction is a D Felony; a person could get a fine of $3,000 and spend up to seven years in prison. A second-degree conviction is a C Felony and could get a person a fine of over $50,000 and up to 15 years in prison. First-degree auto insurance fraud is a B Felony. A person could get a fine of over $1,000,000 and up to 25 years in prison.

Legal Help
When a person is accused of insurance fraud, they will need legal help. An experienced attorney will know how to handle the allegations as well as deal with an insurance company’s accusations and more.

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