How Does Insurance Fraud By Others Affect Your Claim?
Insurance fraudsters in Florida continue to carry out scams that impact insurance companies alike. All Florida insurance consumers are impacted by insurance fraud – even if they were never directly targeted. By one estimate, at least $80 billion in fraudulent claims payments are made each year across Florida and the United States. Ultimately, it is innocent insurance customers that pay this tab through costs that are passed down.
Insurance fraud can impact consumers in different ways:
- Insurers will increase premiums to offset losses caused by fraud. This is the frequent and widespread result of insurance fraud’s impact on insurance consumers. When insurers pay more due to fraud, their customers pay more. Similar to how shoplifters force retailers to increase the cost of products, fraudsters force insurance companies to charge higher premiums across the board to maintain their bottom lines.
- Unlicensed contractors and roof repair services can bilk insurers and insurance companies alike. This happens when contractors represent themselves as licensed, professional contractors when they have not been licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. When these services are associated with a homeowner’s property insurance claim or assignment of benefits, problems can arise for homeowners.
- Insured homeowners can be directly targeted by fraudsters and scam artists. Fake businesses or agencies purporting to offer discounted roof repairs or insurance changes shortly before or after a damaging event target as many people as they can in Florida, and it is not hard for even discerning and sophisticated customers to fall victim to these scams.
Florida law prohibits fraudulent and false insurance claims, with criminal penalties that can attach to these practices. If you believe you have been victimized by insurance fraud, or have information regarding a fraudulent practice, it is important to relay this information to your local law enforcement agencies. While criminal penalties including jail time exist as a deterrent to fraudulent actors, this so far has not stopped people from continuing to prey on insured homeowners and insurance companies.
To help combat insurance fraud schemes, Florida’s recently-passed insurance reform legislation included provisions to crack down on predatory individuals that file fraudulent roof claims, for example. Unfortunately, most consumers will have to take a “wait and see” approach to whether these reforms will reduce fraud or reduce premiums.
If you are in the midst of a property damage claim with your insurance company and believe that fraud might be involved, it helps to not only address this with the insurance company and law enforcement, but to consult a Florida property damage attorney with experience dealing with insurers. They may be able to help get your claim on track toward a fair and efficient resolution.
Our Daytona, Florida Property Damage Attorneys Are Here to Help If You Run Into Any Issues, Including Fraud, with Your Insurer
The Daytona property damage insurance attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., have years of experience working with Florida clients to address any number of issues – including potential fraud. To learn more, call our Daytona law offices today at 386-252-5170, or schedule a consultation with our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online.