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Committing insurance fraud

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All about insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is the deliberate deception of an insurer, whereby the fraudster aims to gain an undue advantage for himself. There are various degrees of insurance fraud. Not all people who commit insurance fraud see themselves as fraudsters. After all, what difference does it make if you give the insurer an extra mobile phone after the house has been broken into? Or if you also claim a few old dents when repairing a car? Yet these are all forms of insurance fraud.

Insurers take insurance fraud very seriously. They invest a lot of time in recognising and detecting it. Are you caught committing insurance fraud? Then this can have serious consequences. You will have to pay a standard fine and you may have to report it to the police. In addition, it will be more difficult to take out insurance in the future.

How does insurance fraud work?

There are different types of insurance fraud. Here are some examples:

  • Insurance fraud when applying for insurance

When applying for insurance, a person provides incorrect information. An insurer always asks a number of underwriting questions before they accept an insurance application. For example, they ask if your insurance has ever been cancelled or denied by an insurer, if you have ever been disqualified from driving, and if you have a criminal history. If so, you must always answer "Yes" to these questions. If you do not answer the questions truthfully, you are committing insurance fraud.

  • Claiming more damage than was actually suffered

When reporting damage, someone provides incorrect facts. After a burglary, for example, they report more items than were actually stolen. They exaggerate the actual damage or the number of items stolen so that they get more compensation from their insurer.

  • Pretending to suffer damage or distorting facts

For example, by reporting a lost laptop as stolen. Also, the facts of the damage are often twisted so that it falls within the insurance coverage.

  • Intentionally causing damage

Insurers regularly find that someone stages a collision or deliberately crashes into something. It is then up to the insurers to demonstrate that this really is fraud. A specialist always comes along to look at the case. They will quickly find out if, for example, you have smashed a window in your house to stage a burglary. Especially if you smash the window from the inside, as often happens.

Examples of insurance fraud

According to the Association of Insurers, most fraud occurs with car insurance, household insurance and liability insurance. Insurers face thousands of false claims or applications for insurance with incorrect information every year. Of course, we've already given some examples of insurance fraud above, but there are countless more to think of. For example, people lie about the contents of their suitcase when they lose it on vacation. Or they give up a very expensive camera they may not have had with them at all. People also regularly take damage photos off the Internet to file a false claim.

Reporting insurance fraud

Do you suspect insurance fraud? Then you can report this (also anonymously) to the Center for Combating Insurance Crime (CBV) of the Dutch Association of Insurers. The CBV helps insurers combat insurance crime. You can make your report via [email protected] or call 070-333 85 00.

Insurance fraud penalty

Committing insurance fraud does carry certain penalties. For example, SODA has been demanding a standard fine of €532 since 2016. SODA stands for Service Organization Direct Liability. In addition, insurers can recover the costs incurred in investigating the fraud from the fraudster. Reports will also be filed with the police in some cases. Insurers do this particularly if the fraud amount is very high or if organized crime is involved.

Insurance fraud investigation

Does the insurer suspect fraud? Then of course they have to be able to prove it. Therefore, if they suspect fraud, they will always conduct an investigation These investigation costs can be substantial, especially if an external investigation agency or expert has to be hired. If it turns out that fraud has indeed been committed, these investigation costs will be recovered from the fraudster. If there had been no fraud, no investigation would have had to be started and these costs would not have been incurred. Therefore, any investigation costs are always borne by the fraudster.

Insurance fraud consequences

If you have been caught committing insurance fraud, there may be unpleasant consequences. For example, the insurer will not reimburse you for damages if it turns out that you committed fraud. For example, did you stage a burglary? Then all those costs are for your own account. In addition, the insurer has the right to cancel your insurance immediately. So you are no longer insured. In addition, you will be registered as a fraudster in the database of Stichting CIS. Your data are then visible to all affiliated insurers. With a CIS registration it becomes a lot more difficult to take out new insurance. Moreover, you will probably pay a lot more money for your insurance.

Limitation period for insurance fraud

Insurance fraud is not taken lightly by an insurer. Individuals who have committed fraud pose a great risk to insurance companies. As a result, a report for insurance fraud lasts the longest of all reports. The statute of limitations for insurance fraud is about 8 years. During these 8 years, this report is visible to every affiliated insurer.

Contesting insurance fraud

Are you suspected of insurance fraud? If so, this can have major consequences. We are not only talking about financial consequences, but also about registration as a fraudster. This greatly affects your (future) insurance policies. In some cases, the insurer decides to report fraud, which can lead to criminal sanctions. A registration as a fraudster does not just disappear from the system. If you believe the registration is unjustified, you can challenge it. If you are suspected of insurance fraud, it is sometimes wise to hire an attorney immediately.

Car insurance fraud

Car insurance fraud is one of the most common forms of insurance fraud. For example, someone reports his or her car as stolen when it is just sitting in the garage. Or someone quickly adjusts their car insurance coverage and only then claims the damage so that it is covered and reimbursed. There are countless examples of insurance fraud with auto insurance. Are you caught for car insurance fraud? Then getting a new car insurance policy will be difficult in the future.

Insurance fraud registration

To alert other insurers, your personal data will always be registered if you have been caught for insurance fraud. You will then be registered with the CIS Foundation. CIS stands for Central Information System. When assessing an insurance application, an insurer will always take a quick look in the database of Stichting CIS to see if you are sometimes registered and why. Are you registered for insurance fraud? Then chances are that the insurer will reject your application. You then pose too great a risk.

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