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Insurance fraud happens when people knowingly deceive, or assist in deceiving, an insurance company or agent in order to collect something of value that they are not entitled to. It can occur when someone provides false or misleading information to an insurance company, or when important details are intentionally omitted in insurance paperwork.
In Michigan, insurance fraud is a serious felony offense. A conviction could lead to prison time, hefty fines, a permanent criminal record, career limitations, and even challenges when trying to get into college. Since the penalties for an insurance fraud conviction can have lasting consequences, it is important to contact a Michigan insurance fraud lawyer right away. Skilled fraud defense lawyers can help protect your rights, defend you in court, and fight to keep a criminal conviction off your record.Insurance Fraud Offenses
Insurance fraud in Michigan can be committed by consumers, companies, insurance agents, adjusters, and licensed professionals like doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, and auto mechanics. It can be committed by complex fraud groups that look to defraud insurance companies out of millions of dollars, or by a single person hoping to get a lower premium on their insurance policy.
An individual can be charged with insurance fraud under Michigan Insurance Code Section 500.4503 if they intentionally lie, conceal, or omit important facts in insurance documents. Planning to commit the fraud—even if it is not actually carried out—is also considered insurance fraud under Michigan law.
There is no doubt that insurance laws can be complicated. A person may not have even realized they were committing a felony offense. For that reason, it is best to talk to a Michigan insurance fraud attorney if they have any questions about their specific circumstances.Types of Insurance Fraud
Since insurance fraud can be committed by such a wide variety of people, organizations, and companies, there is no limit to the types of insurance fraud that can occur in the United States. However, certain insurance fraud methods and schemes are more common than others, including:
- Failing to report an existing condition to get lower health care premiums
- Destroying property—such as a car, house, or even a cellphone—to collect insurance
- Misreporting or exaggerating a work-related injury to get workers' compensation benefits
- As a doctor, billing insurance companies for treatments patients never received
- Committing automobile insurance fraud by falsely reporting a stolen vehicle, staging an auto accident, or collecting insurance for pre-existing damages
A Michigan insurance fraud lawyer can assist in defending against any of these claims.Potential Penalties for Convictions
According to Michigan Insurance Code Section 500.4511, committing insurance fraud could result in a maximum of four years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, and an order to pay back those affected by the fraud.
Conspiring with another person to commit insurance fraud is punished even more severely since it involves premeditation. These punishments include up to 10 years in prison, a $50,000 fine, as well as restitution. Beyond prison and fines, those convicted of insurance fraud in Michigan could lose their professional licenses, be required to pay punitive damages in civil court, and face challenges when pursuing higher education.Contact a Michigan Insurance Fraud Attorney
There is too much at stake to face insurance fraud charges alone. Whether you allegedly hid a small detail in an insurance document, are being investigated for faking an injury to collect money, or have been charged with insurance fraud for any other reason, skilled Michigan attorneys may be able to assist you. Contact an insurance fraud lawyer in Michigan to find out how they can help, right away.