Those who consider insurance fraud to be a victimless crime should think again. After all, The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (did you even know there was one?) has estimated that fraudulent insurance claims cost roughly 90 billion a year in stolen claims. That’s not even considering the social costs, or rather, what it’s costing the average tax payer to recoup these losses. And when you start to add up the costs associated with lost productivity of businesses, lost savings for individuals and the costs to investigate and prosecute these cases, the totals continue to rise.
Everyone has heard of at least one or more false insurance claims, from burns from hot coffee, a mouse in the soup, a fake slip and fall to some more gruesome fraudulent insurance claims such as real murder, torched houses and cars and hit and runs, some people will go to great lengths in an attempt to scam their insurance companies in the hopes of bilking money.
If there is a system, you can guarantee someone is trying to figure out a way to scam it. Within every insurance field there are thousands if not millions of people looking for the loophole. Companies such as Elephant Insurance see thousands of annual claims and are always finding ways to prevent fraudulent Elephant insurance claims. In the United States alone, prisons are full of people who thought they could beat the system with “harmless funny insurance claims” that would hopefully reap them a reward, while not hurting anyone.
There are those who will do anything to try and make money on systems that are in place to help honest people. And while it does not make it right, there are plenty of people willing to try to benefit off the backs of others.
Some people will try and capitalize on natural disasters. Shady contractors will demand payment upfront from people impacted by disasters. In a fragile state, many people are willing to do whatever it takes to recoup from their losses. Often times these contractors do little or no repairs before disappearing for good. Conversely, sometimes people file fraudulent insurance claims after accidents and disasters hoping to trick insurance companies into paying more than is deserved. Medicare and other forms of health insurance are some of the most scammed. In many cases, people receive improper payouts for non existent injuries or disabilities. It’s a lucrative business for some, and it’s one that costs tax payers billions.
Stopping illegal acts and fraudulent insurance claims has become a business unto itself. The federal False Claims Act calls for whistleblowers to report any wrong doing they may see, without fear or threat of punishment or exposure. Often in doing so, these whistleblowers can garner a portion of any federal civil recoveries stemming from the whistleblower’s efforts to expose fraudulent insurance claims. These people make up a large portion of healthcare convictions as they tend to be insiders with access to information that is used to charge and convict wrong doers.