Insurance fraud can take many forms. Many types of insurance fraud are related to motor vehicles and false claims for accidents. Recently the state legislature has passed stricter laws severely punishing these types of offenses. Other types of insurance fraud relate to workers’ compensation, licensees, healthcare insurance, homeowners insurance policies, commercial insurance policies, disability policies, arson, and life insurance. (Click here for information regarding healthcare fraud) Regardless of the specific insurance fraud alleged, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami insurance fraud attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
What is Insurance Fraud?
The common element in insurance fraud cases is the allegation that the defendant intentionally gave a false or misleading statement in support of an insurance claim. The false or misleading statement can be made in the initial application for the insurance or be made/communicated to the insurance company at the time that the insurance claim is filed. The false or misleading statement can be contained in just about any document or record supporting the insurance claim.
How is Insurance Fraud Charged?
Insurance fraud cases are usually charged under the insurance fraud statute, Section 817.234, unless there is a more specific law, like workman’s compensation fraud, that applies. If multiple counts of insurance fraud are alleged as being part of a scheme, the prosecutor can also charge the defendant under Florida’s organized fraud statute.
What is the Punishment for Insurance Fraud?
Much like theft crimes, the severity of the possible sentence for insurance fraud is determined by the amount of money at issue:
- $19,999 or less — a felony of the third degree, punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.
- $20,000 or more — but less than $100,000, a felony of the second degree, punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison.
- $100,000 or more — a felony of the first degree, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison.
If you or a loved one has been arrested or approached by law enforcement investigating insurance fraud in Florida, it is extremely important to meet with an experienced insurance fraud attorney as soon as possible protect your rights. You need the counsel of an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of resolving your case with a favorable outcome.
Legal Information Institute – Information on insurance fraud with a menu of federal, state, and judicial sources.
Insurance Fraud (FBI) – Offers an overview of insurance fraud, common schemes, and additional resources.
Contact an Experienced Miami Insurance Fraud Attorney
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