CHARGED WITH INSURANCE FRAUD IN LONDON?
An insurance contract is entered into by both parties; the insurer and the insured in what is known as the utmost good faith under contract law. This means that both parties are deemed to have been completely honest with each other and that no material fact has been withheld. Insurance fraud is a blatant disregard of this principle. Insurance fraud is committed where a claim is filed fraudulently and with the aim of defrauding the insurer. Insurance fraud cuts across all sections of insurance law and can be related to simple matters such as false motor insurance claim to more complicated and significantly more serious cases like false life insurance claim.
The idea of insured people faking their own deaths in collaboration with others so as to fraudulently benefit from the insurance payout is not a novel one. However like other false insurance claims, it is becoming increasingly popular in no small part to lingering effects of the recent global economic recession. In dealing with this rather serious problem, governments have also intensified efforts to ensure that those found guilty of filing false claims for illicit gain are brought to justice.
The Association of British Insurers in conjunction with the Insurance Fraud Bureau recently declared a full blown war on fraudulent claims with the clear warning that there will no longer be any hiding place for those filing fake or fabricated insurance claims. Insurance fraud is said to be either hard or soft with the more common offence being the latter. Whereas hard insurance fraud relates to the outright fabrication of a loss for financial gain, soft insurance fraud is committed where the offender exaggerates the level of the loss incurred in an otherwise legitimate claim.
According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau, billions of pounds are lost every year on insurance fraud claims. This does not only affect the insurance industry but the economy as a whole. It is no wonder therefore that the criminal offence of insurance fraud has been earmarked a department within the Police Force known as the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). As the title suggests, IFED is charged with the task of investigating fraudulent insurance claims. Where the suspicions of fraud are found to be substantiated following investigation, the offender is most likely to be subsequently prosecuted.
The Serious Fraud Office is the main prosecuting body for insurance claims regardless of whether it is an automobile, life, medical or any other kind of insurance fraud. The severity of the case and the subsequent sentence depend on the individual factors of each case. Suffice to say however that life insurance fraud claims are more likely to carry a more severe sentence than automobile or property insurance claims. Under the Fraud Act 2006, any representation, action or claim made dishonestly and with the explicit intention of deriving undeserved gain from it constitutes the criminal offence of fraud. Insurance fraud is a serious offence and this is reflected in the severity of insurance fraud penalties. On conviction, sentences may vary from a fine in less complicated cases to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment in more complex cases.
It is very clear therefore that anyone facing insurance fraud allegations must ensure that they have the best possible insurance fraud lawyers on their side. At London’s most prominent criminal defence law network, our insurance fraud solicitors have vast knowledge of insurance law and extensive experience of defending our clients in hard and soft insurance fraud cases. It does not matter if the allegations you are facing are for a complex or simple insurance fraud case, give us a call today and we will accord your case the required level of expertise and case preparation. Our services are bespoke and tailored to the needs, particular circumstances and requirements of our clients. The best interest of our clients is at the core of every strategic decision made in the course of case preparation and defence at trial. Contact one of our insurance fraud lawyers today and you will be glad that you did!