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Indiana’s insurance fraud laws have a long reach

| Mar 9, 2021 | White Collar Crimes |

Like other states, Indiana has a law which criminalizes insurance fraud.

By way of example, people who burn down their homes in order to collect the proceeds from an insurance policy may face this charge.

The charge is a felony under Indiana law, and is a more serious Level 5 felony if the person either has a prior conviction or the dollar amount involved is more than $2,500.

In addition to time in prison and fines, a person convicted may have to pay restitution and could have a difficult time finding another job, particularly if they work in the insurance industry.

What people might not realize is how broad Indiana’s insurance fraud laws are.

For one, the law applies to just about any statement made about insurance. In other words, it is difficult to pass off an off-handed comment in a recorded phone conversation or email as just rhetoric or negotiation.

It also applies to what some might consider relatively harmless padding of a claim. For example, an injured worker who is receiving benefits may face a fraud charge if he goes back to work in another job and does not report it, even if he really did suffer an injury.

Likewise, someone who is applying for life insurance and does not mention a prior medical emergency could face charges, even if he recovered fully.

In other words, the law prohibits not only outright lying but also giving misleading or incomplete information to an insurance company. It even applies to certain omissions of critical facts.

Many times, insurance companies and authorities see fraud where there is none

Sometimes, Indianapolis residents make errors in judgment and may have to consider accepting the consequences of their actions.

However, many may not realize that insurance companies frequently are the driving force behind an official investigation into insurance fraud and cooperate closely with authorities.

Too often, these companies may interpret as insurance fraud what is at worst a careless but honest mistake and at best just a person trying to get her insurance company to fulfill its obligations.