The DBW Law Blog

Personal Law, Law in General, Blawg

Private Investigators & Insurance Fraud

While Hollywood portrays private investigators as trench coat wearing, cigar smoking sleuths who have their camera constantly ready to snap a photo of a cheating spouse, a large portion of a private investigator’s workload includes insurance fraud cases. Private investigators who focus on insurance fraud are among the most demanded professionals.

What is Insurance Fraud?

Plainly speaking, insurance fraud is when one or more individuals intentionally deceive an insurance agency to gain a fraudulent profit. In fact, insurance fraud in a common crime in the United States, costing consumers $80 billion dollars a year, on average. Insurance companies basically raise premiums to help cover the cost of fraud.

What is Insurance Fraud Investigation?

A private investigator gathers evidence to figure out whether or not fraud has taken place. Some real life examples of insurance fraud are listed here:

Out of Control Arson

One of the most common ways of committing insurance frauds is to set something on fire and then file a claim for the insurance money. That’s exactly what Mark Leonard tried to do when he burned down his home in Indianapolis. Tragically, he ended up blowing up his house and accidentally burying his neighbor alive.

False Car Insurance Claims

A popular scam for people who seek reward by deceit is to team up and commit a fake car accident and a fake injury, typically whiplash. In this case, a private investigator would look for evidence that the whole thing was planned.

Fake Slip and Fall

A famous scam that involved dozens of people pretending to fall down and get hurt occurred in Philadelphia. A lawyer actually coached his clients on how to slip and fall and act hurt. They got away with about $400,000 false claims until they were found out – most likely by a private investigator hired by the insurance company or companies who began to see a pattern to these shady slip and fall claims.

Life Insurance Fraud

This one is something you find on and off the Hollywood screen. Murder for life insurance money may not be common, but it happens enough for private investigators to get hired on to solve these kinds of cases.

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