Insurance fraud is something everyone is aware of and leads to significantly higher premiums for anyone looking for protection. What the insurance companies do not talk about, though, is the very insurance fraud that goes on within the industry itself. While companies may drag their feet or act in bad faith in delaying payments or sending inspectors to the homes of policy owners, there are some very serious actions that have gone on that require policy holders to remain vigilant in their claims.
In a case relating to the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California, State Farm agents, according to the testimony of one of the company’s former employees, tried to avoid paying insurance claims to victims through forged signatures and altering documents to make it appear earthquake damage had been declined by policyholders. An investigation by a tv station in San Francisco in 1997 showed the company had also gone so far as to delay inspections and lower the value of claims of those individuals who took action against the company because of these delays. These acts of explicit fraud and malice by State Farm serve as an example of how policy holders must remain ever vigilant when it comes to their policies and insurance protection especially as they can happen anywhere.
Hitting closer to home, on May 2 of 2003, a Metairie insurance agent was shut down for forgery and misappropriation of insurance premiums, the third in four days. On June 27, 2005, another agent from Lafayette pled guilty to theft after pocketing premiums on insurance payments rather than sending them to the companies. These instances prove how important it is to make sure with the company you are buying insurance from that payments are received and coverage is verified.
These aforementioned examples of fraud are neither the exception nor the rule, but, instead, demonstrate why insurance policy holders in the Gulf Shore and elsewhere must remain ever vigilant on their claims of damages with insurance companies. Keep close records and copies of all of your insurance information and all documentation and pictures you have of the damage you are making a claim to your insurance company for.
If you feel that your insurance company is not handling your claim properly or you have exhausted all efforts to get the results you deserve, please make a call to the Berniard Law Firm Toll-Free at 1-866-574-8005 or at (504) 527-6225 to have an attorney look into your case.