Advertisements asking whistleblowers to report insurance fraud often hint that the crime “affects everyone.” False insurance claims could lead to higher premiums for others in Minnesota, and the impact on businesses might drive up costs on goods and services. Reportedly, there’s been an increase in insurance fraud referrals, and the fallout may affect many in the North Star State.
Insurance fraud increases in Minnesota
Data reveals that insurance fraud investigations increased by 11% in Minnesota. The percentage reflects an increase from 2019 to 2020. Statistics examining the past five years reveal a 57% increase in case referrals.
Referrals and investigations do not always lead to convictions, though. Although someone might suspect insurance fraud, an investigation may reveal that no such fraud occurred.
That said, the sheer volume of suspected fraud, 3,600 cases in 2020, suggests many incidents of insurance fraud did occur. Many cases did result in criminal prosecutions.
Instances of insurance fraud
Automobile insurance fraud ranked as the most prevalent of coverage-related white-collar crimes. Health and homeowners insurance followed. What may worry a great many people is the number of insurance fraud charges filed against agents and brokers. Clients may worry about how an agent or broker’s actions ultimately affect them.
Persons investigated for insurance fraud might feel complete surprise. Sometimes, misunderstandings could lead to false charges. Others might commit acts they do not realize will potentially get them into legal trouble.
A suspect’s situation might worsen if he or she fails to remain silent or speaks to investigators without an attorney present. Statements might turn into evidence against the suspect in court.
Criminal defense to insurance fraud may involve several approaches, including questioning the admissibility of evidence or the accuracy of witness statements. For some defendants, a plea bargain might be the preferred path to follow.