Insurance fraud takes place when an insured party tries to make money from an insurance policy by misrepresenting facts. Some examples of such fraud would include casualty fraud (accident injury claims), property fraud (property damage claims) and workers’ compensation fraud (workplace injury or illness claims). While Indiana Code Title 27 and Indiana Administrative Code Title 760 cover the state’s overall insurance laws, Indiana Code Title 35 Section 43-5-4 deals specifically with insurance fraud.
According to this section, insurance fraud is committed when a party submits an oral or written insurance claim containing false or misleading information for the purpose of defrauding the insurer. Examples of such false or misleading information include exaggerating or lying about injuries in an accident injury claim; exaggerating or lying about the damages to movable or immovable property in a property damage claim; and claiming workers’ compensation insurance benefits for an injury that was suffered outside the workplace.
In Indiana, false information on an insurance application is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison, with fines up to $5,000. A first-time conviction for insurance fraud is a Level 6 felony and has a prison sentence of 6 months to 2.5 years, with fines up to $10,000. For those with prior convictions, insurance fraud is a Level 5 felony and penalties include a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years, with fines up to $10,000. Level 5 felony penalties also apply if insurance fraud helps obtain property or services worth at least $2,500 or if the insurance fraud causes economic losses worth at least $2,500 to another party.
Facing insurance fraud charges is a stressful situation that can throw an individual’s life into disorder and uncertainty. It isn’t necessary, however, to face these charges alone. Seeking experienced legal assistance can be helpful for those in such situations. The legal support can help the accused to build a strong case, which may go a long way in determining the final outcome of the case.