What You Need to Know About Insurance Fraud
New Jersey has some of the toughest insurance fraud laws in the country. Fraudulent claims have been linked to an increase in premiums and the loss of billions of dollars from small businesses, large corporations, and government agencies. As a result, New Jersey has established the Office of the Insurance Prosecutor to identify and investigate cases throughout the state. If you are facing insurance fraud charges, here are some things you should know:
What is Insurance Fraud?
When an individual deceives, or attempts to deceive, an insurance company to wrongfully collect money they can be charged with insurance fraud. Under New Jersey law N.J.S. 2C:21-4.6, insurance fraud occurs when someone knowingly submits a fictitious or misleading statement, or omits a material fact in a submission for a claim, in an application for a policy, in regard to a payment, or in a document used in any insurance transaction. It can be made through any bill, record, claim, or document and in any form including writing, electronically, or orally. Statements do not have to be made directly to an insurance company. False statements made to a police officer writing a report can be considered insurance fraud.
What are Types of Insurance Fraud?
Insurance fraud can occur in numerous ways. It can occur with respect to any type of insurance including health, automobile, homeowner’s, worker’s compensation, and life insurance.
Some common examples are:
- Health care claims fraud
- Stolen car scams
- Faking a car accident
- Inflating the value of a vehicle to receive a greater payout
- Falsely receiving unemployment benefits while you are still employed
- Arson for profit
- False or misleading property loss claims
- Faked death to receive life insurance
- Unnecessary medical procedures
- Exaggerating the damages on a home after a storm
Should You Hire an Attorney?
In New Jersey, fraudulent claims can be charged as either a second-degree or third degree felony, depending on the nature and extent of the case. Second-degree crimes are more serious and have more severe penalties.
To be charged with insurance fraud in the second degree, the individual must have committed five or more fraudulent acts and the value of the benefits wrongfully obtained must aggregate to $1,000 or more. It is important to note that each act of fraud is regarded as a separate offense.
New Jersey is a tough place to beat an insurance fraud charge. You will need knowledgeable attorneys in your corner, and that’s where we come in. At Zapicchi & Liller, we have the commitment and experience to make sure your charges are either dismissed or reduced. Call us today at (609) 291-9500 to get a consultation along with an experienced defense team in New Jersey.