Insurance coverage is essential for homeowners, drivers and even those who rent. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always eager to help out their Mississippi customers, and some may go as far as to deny reasonable claims or even accuse customers of committing fraud. Since facing insurance fraud charges can be a distressing experience, it is important that yhose so accused understand the situation they are in.
What is insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is considered to be any type of deceptive act made with the intent to secure an improper insurance payment. Anyone who makes a false or inflated insurance claim of injury or loss can end up facing criminal charges. A few examples of insurance fraud include:
- Phantom vehicle auto damage
- False or misleading disability claims
- False or misleading slip-and-fall claims
- Inflated medical billing
- Billing insurers for services not provided
- Using another individual’s identity to access health insurance benefits
Elements of a fraud case
Making an error when filing an insurance claim will not automatically lead to accusations of fraud. Instead, at least three core elements must be present. The first is that one must knowingly make a false or misleading statement. The second is that the statement must be connected to a payment or claim. Finally, the statement must be material, which simply means that it could impact the claim’s outcome.
A conviction for insurance fraud can have severe criminal consequences. Defendants often face jail time, steep fines and fewer employment opportunities in the future. Minimizing these potential consequences is a priority for most defendants in Mississippi, and a good place to start is often with reviewing all charges alongside related evidence.