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The Top Ten Steps to Avoid Insurance Fraud

Although most insurance companies and agents are honest, insurance fraud is a part of the insurance industry. The good news is that you can take some simple steps to protect yourself from falling victim to insurance fraud.

1.Never purchase the first insurance policy you see. It is important to conduct some research and comparison shop, just as you would with any other important purchase. Take the time to review the reputation, rates, features and insurance types of prospective insurance providers. Before you pay your first premium, you should obtain quotes from several different insurance companies. Review their rates and benefits and the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can choose the most suitable insurance provider.

2.Review the background and reputation of any prospective insurance company or agent. Find out how long the company has been in business or verify that the insurance license of an agent is valid by contacting the local Department of Insurance. For example, if you receive an insurance quote that sounds far too low, be very cautious. As we all know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The low rates may just be a method to lure you into purchasing a fraudulent insurance policy or dealing with a dishonest insurance company. It doesn’t matter how little you paid for your insurance premiums if your insurance company is unable or unwilling to cover your claim or provides you with unsatisfactory customer service.

3.Only purchase insurance policies from authorized insurance agents, companies or agencies. Not only are unauthorized insurance procedures illegal, they leave policyholders without any insurance coverage. This means that you will be completely unprotected if you ever have to submit an insurance claim. If you want to ensure a prospective insurance company is legitimate, contact your local state Department of Insurance. One quick phone call can save you a lot of hassle, time and money.

4.Pay particular attentions to your premium and never pay it in cash. Choose a money order or check to pay for your insurance premium so you have a record. Make sure you always obtain a receipt that proves that you have paid your premium. If possible, pay your premium directly to your insurance company or agency, rather than to an insurance agent.

5.Take time to carefully complete your insurance application. Pay attention to every detail, regardless of how apparently minor. Even one small error may cause big problems later on. Do not sign any blank application forms or blank forms.

6.You also need to be completely honest when you answer any of the questions or provide any information on your insurance application. Submitting false, partial or inaccurate information can have serious consequences; your insurance policy may be revoked, leaving you without any insurance coverage. Even worse, you may be fined or prosecuted as it is considered an offense to falsify information on an insurance claim or application. Never allow an insurance agent to convince you to file false data or submit incorrect information.

7.Request a copy of your entire insurance policy from your insurance agent within a reasonable time period. It’s important to note that an ID card isn’t considered a copy of policy for auto insurance. If you don’t receive a copy of your policy, first contact your insurance agent and then the Department of Insurance in your particular state.

8.Immediately read your entire insurance policy to ensure that it does not contain any errors. You should also make sure that it contains the exact insurance coverage you discussed with your insurance agent. If something does not look right to you, be sure to return your policy and discuss the issue with your insurance agent or insurance company.

9.You should also be aware that you will be granted a period of time in which you can review your insurance policy as soon as you receive it with no obligation. Make sure to take full advantage of this opportunity. Every health insurance and life insurance policy has what is called a “free-look” period of at least 10 days, although certain policies may even have a longer time period.

10. Retain copies of all of your insurance documents such as copies of all your premium payments for future reference. You should keep extra copies in a secure location such as a fireproof and waterproof safe, entrusted individual, legal practitioner or locked safety deposit box.

Filing a Complaint

If you at any time you have questions or concerns regarding your insurance policy, you should talk to your insurance company or agent. If you believe that you have been unjustly declined for a new or renewed insurance policy or your payments for a legitimate insurance claim have been denied, you should discuss the situation immediately with your insurance company. It may just be an error that can be easily remedied with a quick phone call or email. Make sure you include your policy number, telephone number, address, full name, type of insurance policy and the nature of the problem in all correspondence.

If your issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can file a complaint with the head of the company. Another option is to file a complaint with the Department of Insurance in your state. They can provide you with a complaint history for a particular insurance agent or company, accept a complaint from you or furnish details of the license standing of an insurance agent or the details of any insurance company.

Reporting Fraud

If you suspect your insurance agent or company of committing insurance fraud, be sure to file a complaint with the local Department of Insurance. They will assist you with dealing with the issue. This may also protect other unsuspecting insurance policy holders from falling victim.


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