Insurance Fraud, coverage, and litigious agreements have been a hot topic of discussion in Florida as of late. While there are many laws and regulations in place to protect policyholders in the state of Florida, unfortunately, sometimes people take advantage of this and attempt to falsify claims for financial gain. In fact, Florida is one of the states with some of the highest rates of insurance fraud. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, $308.6 Billion in fraudulent claims are made annually. While anyone would agree this is a staggering amount, it may not be very important to you. That is at least until you ask - who ultimately pays for insurance fraud? Well, you do! Insurance companies are companies after all, and this cost is passed onto the policyholders in the form of higher cost premiums and monthly payments.
To learn more about what Insurance Fraud is, the legal consequences in the state of Florida, and what to do if you are innocently accused of Insurance Fraud, continue to read the expert advice given by the top insurance fraud defense lawyers in Florida at the Law Offices of Matthew Konecky.
What is Insurance Fraud?
In broad terms, insurance fraud occurs when there is deliberate deception committed against an insurance company, including insurance agents and adjustors, in order to gain a benefit. Insurance Fraud can look like submitting falsified or doctored documents, invoices, receipts, or claiming existing damage.
Is Insurance Fraud a Major Crime?
Insurance Fraud is considered a major crime not just in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter, but in the state of Florida as a whole. Insurance Fraud of any kind, of any monetary amount, is considered a felony by the state of Florida and thus is a serious crime with severe consequences if you are found guilty. This is why it is so important to contact an experienced Insurance Fraud Defense Attorney as soon as possible so you can protect your rights and your future.
What is the Law on Insurance Fraud in Florida?
Florida Statute Section 817.234 defines insurance fraud as any act committed with the intent to fraudulently obtain value or benefit from an insurer. This covers a range of fraudulent activities, including falsifying information on an insurance application to exaggerating damages or injuries for the purpose of financial gain.
Who is responsible for investigating insurance fraud in Florida?
The Department of Financial Services in Florida is responsible for initiating and investigating cases of insurance fraud in Florida. Specifically, the Bureau of Insurance Fraud within the Division of Investigating and Forensic Services investigates any alleged acts of insurance fraud. The bureau also works with local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s office for proper case examination. While such financial investigations are important to keep the insurance market safe and fair, unfortunately sometimes innocent people are targeted. If you are accused of Insurance Fraud in Florida, these will be the departments approaching you for further information.
What is the punishment for health insurance fraud in Florida?
Committing Insurance Fraud in West Palm Beach Floride carries strict penalties for those who are found guilty of committing fraud. The severity of the punishment will vary depending on the amount of the fraudulent claim:
- Fraudulent claims less than $20,000 qualify as 3rd-degree felonies, potentially leading up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- Fraudulent claims between $20,000 and $100,000 are considered a 2nd-degree felony. This crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
- If the fraudulent claim exceeds $100,000, it is considered a 1st-degree felony by the state of Florida. The legal punishment for this level of insurance fraud is potentially 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Insurance Fraud Defense Attorney West Palm Beach Florida
If you have been accused of Insurance Fraud in West Palm Beach Florida, it is important to know what to do in order to best protect yourself, your legal rights, and your freedom. Insurance Fraud is a heavily nuanced and intricate sector of the law, and it is crucial to your livelihood to choose an experienced Insurance Fraud Defense Attorney such as those at The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky in Palm Beach Florida. Having the right attorney defending you in court is a crucial step if you are accused of insurance fraud in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, and the greater Palm Beach County, Florida. Following securing a strong attorney, keep these next steps in mind:
- Stay Silent: If you are approached by investigators or law enforcement, avoid making any statements without your attorney. Anything said can be used against you in court.
- Gather Documents: Compile relevant paperwork, written communication, and other documented evidence related to your insurance claim. This will be invaluable in defending your rights.
- Stay off Social Media: Especially if you have a public social media account, insurance companies can and do access these accounts. Anything you post about may be used against you in order to deny a claim. Avoid discussing your case with anyone aside from your lawyer and keep details confidential until your case is resolved.