When a policyholder disputes a property damage claim, insurance company representatives often dig in their heels and try to stand firm on the denial or the low valuation. Insurance companies frequently allege various unsupported reasons and defenses to avoid paying what is due. Some insurance companies accuse consumers of insurance fraud even when the facts don’t support an allegation under Florida’s law. Does this mean that insurance fraud doesn’t happen? Absolutely not. Fraud is a real and there is a need for Florida’s fraud task force to handle actual insurance fraud, but a very small number of the insurance fraud reported to the State of Florida relates to property damage claims.
The Division of Insurance Fraud, or DIF, falls within the Department of Financial Services. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer oversees DIF, the law enforcement arm responsible for investigating all forms of insurance fraud, including personal injury protection fraud, workers compensation fraud, vehicle fraud, licensee fraud, application fraud, healthcare fraud, unauthorized entity fraud, and homeowners/ property insurance fraud.
The Division’s website is changing because DIF will soon be implementing a new online suspected fraud referral program. According to the website:
The biggest changes in the new system include the ability to enter more than one person per referral as well as the ability to upload documents that correspond to the referral directly from the web page. These new changes will provide more information to us and enable the Division of Insurance Fraud to better evaluate and process incidents of suspected insurance fraud.
The chart below shows the number the tips for suspected insurance fraud for various types of insurance issues. As you can see for the 4th quarter referrals for the fiscal year, April to June 2013, homeowners/property insurance claims did not even make the chart.
Maybe our friends at various insurance companies will take a look at this chart and realize false allegations of fraud should not be used in denial letters or answers to complaints.