Making a false insurance claim or misrepresenting facts to receive a benefit is considered insurance fraud in the state of Colorado. The crime can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction depending on the circumstances and can lead to time in jail or prison. The statute also includes car accidents that were intentionally caused for the purpose to defraud the insurance company.
Insurance fraud is considered a “white-collar crime,” but that doesn’t mean the penalties upon conviction are light. You could be sentenced to up to three years in prison or even longer depending on the facts of the case. That is why we highly recommend you seek legal counsel if you’ve been arrested for insurance fraud or any other financial crime.
Insurance Fraud Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
If you or someone you know has been arrested for committing insurance fraud, it’s highly recommended you secure legal representation. Insurance fraud in Colorado carries heavy penalties including possible time in jail or prison. The best way to avoid this is with experienced legal representation like the legal team at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC in Colorado Springs.
With years of collective experience under their belt, the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC understand the complex laws behind insurance fraud. Their unique knowledge of financial crimes as well as their dedication to their clients may be the key to reduced or dismissed charges. Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today at (719) 328-1616 to set up your first consultation in the greater Colorado Springs and El Paso County, Colorado area.
- What is Considered Insurance Fraud in Colorado?
- Most Common Insurance Fraud Schemes
- Penalties for Insurance Fraud
- Additional Resources
What is Considered Insurance Fraud in Colorado?
Applying for and/or receiving undeserved benefits from an insurance company is considered fraud in Colorado. The crime is specified under C.R.C.S. § 18-5-211, which state insurance fraud can be committed by individuals, insurance agents, or adjusters. The offense is also heavily associated with organized crime. Any type of insurance is susceptible to fraud including home insurance, automobile insurance, and life insurance.
How insurance fraud is committed depends on the position of the offender. If they are a policyholder, then they can defraud their insurance company in one of six ways:
- Applying for a policy and using material lies or omissions to obtain a benefit, such as a lower premium. In this context, “material” means anything important or relevant to the policy guidelines.
- Staging and participating in a fake car accident to file a false claim
- Making a false written or oral statement in support of a claim
- Making an oral or written statement in support of a claim with missing material information
- Making a false or fraudulent claim that withholds facts or contains misrepresented facts
Insurance agents and adjusters can also defraud their employers. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, an adjuster or agent can commit insurance fraud by either:
- Misappropriating premium funds without lawful justification or authorization
- Presenting a certificate of insurance with false or fraudulent information to any person or entity
Most Common Insurance Fraud Schemes
Insurance is designed to protect the policyholder in case they need to recover from a covered event. However, some individuals use fraudulent tactics to receive additional or a singular benefit from their insurer. A person can commit insurance fraud in various ways including:
- “Stealing” Cars – In some cases, the offender will buy a new vehicle for the purpose of committing an insurance fraud scheme. They may use the car for a year or a few years and then dispose of it. They will then report a claim on their insurance in an effort to obtain a nicer vehicle they can either sell or use for their benefit.
- Staged Minor Car Accidents – It’s common in insurance fraud schemes for the offender to stage a minor car accident. Usually, this will involve braking suddenly so the car behind the offender hits their rear bumper. Offenders can then file a car insurance claim for repairs as well as a personal injury claim for injuries such as whiplash.
- Staged Arson – Setting fire to your own home may seem crazy, but for some fraudulent schemes, it’s necessary. Homeowners or property owners may take out their precious valuables and then start a fire artificially to collect on the insurance.
- Commercial Liability Fraud – Employers will usually have a type of liability insurance to protect them from lawsuits related to employee injury, disease, or death as a result of their occupation. Employees may file fraudulent claims to gain coverage. They may even come up with extensive fictitious accidents to support the claim.
- Staged Burglary, Robbery, or Theft – Homeowners and property owners may stage a home invasion to claim valuable items that were stolen. In these cases, the “stolen” items are usually kept in a safe place until the policyholder can obtain a check from their insurance.
Insurance Fraud Penalties in Colorado
Insurance fraud is an incredibly serious crime carrying life-changing penalties. The punishment for the crime is decided by the unique facts of the case. If you received an insurance policy after submitting a fraudulent application, you’ll face a class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for a class 1 misdemeanor includes:
- Up to 18 months in jail
- A fine of up to $5,000
Any other instance of insurance fraud is automatically considered a class 5 felony. The maximum sentence a person can receive for a class 5 felony is:
- Up to 3 years in prison
- A fine of up to $100,000
Insurance Fraud | Colorado Attorney General (COAG) – Visit the official website for Phil Weiser, the current Attorney General in Colorado. Access the site to learn more about what insurance fraud is, what it consists of, how to avoid insurance fraud, and tips on submitting a complaint.
Colorado Insurance Fraud Statute – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to read up on their legislation regarding insurance fraud. Access the site to read up on the definitions for insurance fraud, penalties, and other comparable fraudulent offenses.
Defense Attorney for Insurance Fraud Cases in Colorado Springs, CO
Accusations of insurance fraud are incredibly serious and must be dealt with swiftly. The best way to attack your allegations is to hire experienced legal representation like the legal team at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our white-collar crime attorneys in Colorado Springs have years of experience we can utilize for your case. Don’t wait another moment to protect your freedom and call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC.
Get started on your defense plan today by contacting the attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC by calling (719) 328-1616. We will sit with you, discuss your charges, and begin strategizing on what the next best step is. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC represents clients in the El Paso County area and surrounding counties including Fremont County, Douglas County, and Pueblo County.