Insurance fraud is very costly and is prevalent in Florida. It is estimated that nationwide, fraud costs insurance companies between $30 and $60 billion dollars a year and we, the consumers, end up footing the bill. There is a difference between misrepresenting information, where you unknowingly present false information to your insurance company and intentionally trying to deceive your insurance company. The majority of claims are legitimate and filed by honest customers. Unfortunately there are too many people that see an opportunity and think they could get away with filing a false claim. Most of the time those people are in some serious financial crisis. Sometime it is just plain greed. Either way, in most cases it is a felony!
Most often, fraud claims will have strong signals or ‘red flags’ that the claim is fraudulent. With technology and the help of Social Media sites, claims adjusters now have another powerful tool to investigate claims and to fight against fraud.
People get on Facebook and publish thoughtlessly and publicly about what is going on in their lives, usually without thinking of possible consequences. This behavior works in the adjuster’s favor, while the adjuster works to piece together what really happened. Here are a few examples of claims gone bad:
A Phoenix, Arizona woman filed a claim in June of 2013. She said she lost her $26,500 ring, while swimming in the Pacific Ocean, a few days after her wedding. The insurance company paid the claim. She filed a claim that her husband had lost his ring in October the same year. A Facebook post revealed her wearing the same ring that she claimed was missing. Investigators were issued a search warrant at the claimants home and both rings were discovered.
A guy was caught on YouTube participating in a tractor pull, in the same truck he claimed was damaged beyond repair because improper fuel was put in it.
Another example is of someone that was using their van commercially, to transport people. They even had an a Facebook page that advertised the use of for public transportation. The problem arose when there were multiple claims, simultaneously filed against the van owner’s personal auto policy. Personal auto policies specifically exclude transportation of goods or people for hire.
How about the guy caught selling a playground on Facebook, which weeks earlier was claimed to be completely destroyed in a storm? The playground was claimed to have been damaged so bad, that it was disposed of.
Need a vacation from work? Think twice about filing a false Workman’s Compensation or Medical Leave claim. Your insurance company may be watching. They may see the post of you water skiing, while you are supposed to be out with a back injury :