According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI), around 10% of insurance claims submitted involve a bit of fraud. Because the costs associated with these types of claims can be high, the agency’s sworn officers thoroughly investigate the cases, and these matters are harshly prosecuted.
In North Carolina, insurance fraud is when a person knowingly conceals or provides false information related to an insurance claim. This type of offense is a felony, and if an individual is convicted, they could face prison time and fines. Additionally, depending on the circumstances, they may owe restitution to an alleged victim.
Because of the complexities of the law and the requirements of filing insurance claims, people may not be aware that their actions constitute insurance fraud.
Below are a few instances of when filing a claim could lead to a criminal offense:
- Filing multiple claims: Often, with busy schedules and so much to do, a person might not realize they filed an insurance claim and may accidentally submit a second to recover funds for damages. In March of 2019, a Greensboro man was charged with insurance fraud and obtaining property under false pretenses for filing a claim with one auto insurance company, but another company had previously paid for repairs to his vehicle.
- Purchasing insurance after an accident: In North Carolina, motorists are required to carry insurance on their vehicles, which should be in place before being involved in a crash. If a person obtains insurance and files a claim after their car has been damaged, they could be charged with a felony. In May of 2019, the NCDOI accused a Goldsboro man of filing a false claim for purchasing insurance one day after his car was smashed. A person could also face these charges if they initiate coverage even just a few hours after a collision occurred.
Filing a claim for existing damage: Insurance fraud charges could be brought against an individual for initiating a claim to recover compensation for dents/scratches that were already on a vehicle. In July of 2019, a Dunn woman was charged for reporting damage that was present when she bought her car.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh
We understand that the regulations regarding vehicle insurance are diverse, and you may not have knowingly submitted a false claim. You could be facing severe consequences if convicted, which is why our attorneys are here to provide effective legal guidance for your case. When you retain our services, we will carefully review documents related to your claim and build a solid defense on your behalf.