Whether consumers, policy holders, professionals and insurance agents, perpetrate fraud through deliberate misrepresentation, American consumers suffer the negative impact these crimes bring. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has listed a $30 billion loss for households each year due to insurance fraud, which includes home insurance.
Fraud can occur at various levels during the transaction and can occur at either sides of a policy. Holders can deliberately attempt damages (such as fire or burglary) that are covered in the home insurance policy and cash in on the claims. On the other hand, unscrupulous agents can ask for payments from homeowners for insurance coverage that are non-existing.
The NICB, together with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are working with insurance departments in various states in an effort to battle fraud on home owners insurance. To do this, they need to educate people regarding their home insurance policies and the possibility of fraud.
Training programs for both consumers and city officials are available, as well as the establishment of Special Investigative Units that will track down fraudulent home insurance claims and crack down on this type of crime. States have also stepped up their drive in this area by promulgating laws to stop or put a deterrent to such fraudulent activities.
Homeowners should be prepared and be informed regarding the possibilities of fraud on home insurances. Before closing the deal with new insurance, confirm the credibility of the agent or the insurance company you are dealing with. You can also do searches online regarding the track record of these companies.
When making payments, ensure that you have appropriate official receipts under the company’s name. Always write checks out to the company’s account and never to the agent. Keep all record of payments and receipts for future reference.
There is no better way to protect your homes against insurance fraud than educating yourselves. If you do encounter fraudulent activities, do not hesitate to report these incidents to the NCIB. The next person you save may be a friend or family.
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