When it comes to insurance fraud, people can become quite inventive. There are the usual false claims for injuries after a car accident. One reason it so difficult to obtain compensation for soft tissue injuries is the fraud and abuse associated with these types of claims.
Insurance fraud and abuse remain a significant problem in Louisiana, and this has led to an increase in activity by the Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft unit of the state police has charged individuals in five separate incidents in the last two months.
This is encouraging, as heightened enforcement by the state police can help reduce the temptation by individuals to be lulled into the misapprehension that submitting false claims to an insurance company is not a criminal offense. It is illegal and it can result in jail time for those convicted.
Fraud takes a variety of forms, from faked injuries or completely fictional claims, as one of the recent cases demonstrated, which involved a woman whose mother worked at a medical clinic. She used her mother's access to create fake bills from the medical provider to submit her phony claims to the insurance company.
Other fraud may occur when a car repair shop fails to replace damaged parts or substitutes cheaper parts while charging for genuine OEM parts.
Fraud may involve unusual or unexpected parties. One of the state police cases involved an insurance agent, who changed names on a policy with an agent who had recently died. He was clearly tempted by the $100,000 in commission that he would collect if he had been successful.
Perhaps these cases will help remind Louisianans that all forms of insurance fraud are a crime and no matter how seemingly lucrative, none are worth the price of doing time in a state prison.
NOLA.com, "Troopers make arrests in ocean of Louisiana car insurance scams," James Varney, March 11, 2015