Insurance Fraud

Grand Prairie insurance attorneys and those in Dallas, Fort Worth, Mansfield, Irving, De Soto, Cedar Hill, Arlington, and other places in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex need to know how to evaluate a case. There will be those times when a person may be trying to commit insurance fraud. An attorney needs to know the penalties associated with such efforts.
The Insurance Journal ran an article dealing with new penalties enacted in the State of Alabama. Here is most of the article:
A number of recently enacted laws in Alabama concerning property-casualty insurance became effective on August 1.
• One newly enacted law, Act 12-429 (Insurance Fraud), makes insurance fraud a felony crime. It will be treated as Class B Felony if the fraud amount is over $1,000 and Class C Felony if $1,000 and under.
The fraud law also requires insurers to report suspected fraud. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners‘ uniform reporting form will be used, according to state regulators.
The law also authorizes Insurance Fraud Unit to have law enforcement officers as investigators and to directly work on cases with the attorney general’s office.
For insurers, the law imposes a $200 annual assessment for the Insurance Fraud Unit Fund.
• Another law that became effective on August 1 is Act 12-374 (Writing of Coastal Insurance, Incentives). It gives premium tax credit to insurers writing in the coastal area.
• Another law that went into effect this Wednesday is Act 12-389 (Auto Insurance Discount, Amend 27-13-121). It requires auto insurers to offer a discount for drivers completing motor vehicle accident preventions courses of not less than 6 hours of instruction.
• Act 12-373 (Property Insurance Clarity Act) also became effective on Wednesday. It requires disclosure of certain information from homeowners insurers (including policy and premium information) to the insurance department for publication on the department’s website.
First reports from insurers are due 10/1/2013. More information can be found here.
• Also on August 1, Act 12-519 (Property and Casualty Insurance; Cancel Residential Roofing Contract) went into effect. It permits cancellation of residential roofing contract within 10 business days if insured receives notice from insurer that all or part of the contract is not covered under the policy.
Roofing contractor must give notice of this right.
More information on Alabama’s new insurance laws from the 2012 regular legislative session can be found on the insurance department’s website.
Now all of the above dealt with Alabama – Information regarding insurance fraud in Texas can be found at the web site for the Texas Department of Insurance.
Another valuable source is the Texas Penal Code.
Chapter 35 of the Texas Penal Code tells us that “statements” made to an insurance company include oral or written communications including those that are computer generated and that these statements can be used in a trial against the insured for insurance fraud. Section 35.02, defines and explains the range of offenses. These are all the way from a Class C misdemeanor or ticket offense, all the way to a first degree felony which could result in a life imprisonment.
One thing that is relevant for someone charged with the offense of insurance fraud is – it is usually very difficult for the authorities to prove.
Another thing – if the insurance company is accusing you of insurance fraud – that means they have denied your claim. If they have denied your claim you need to be talking to an experienced Insurance Law Attorney.

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