I wonder what was in the minds of clerics charged with uncovering witchcraft? Were they true believers or just doing their job? Did they ever question what they did and the impact of their actions on society?

Such thoughts came to my mind as I read Barry Zalma‘s January and February Insurance Fraud Newsletters. Some may question why I spend time studying the insurance company’s perspective. From my viewpoint, even a broken clock is right twice a day. And, I need to understand the mind of my opponent and anticipate his actions to do a better job for my clients.

Barry Zalma makes some legitimate points. Indeed, I purchased his new ebook, The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth-II. His legal discussion regarding Examinations Under Oath made the entire $25 purchase worthwhile.

Guy "Sandy" Burnette invited me to speak at the International Association of Special Investigation Units over a decade ago. I was the token insurance attorney for policyholders. During my presentation, I cautioned that the two major human problems facing fraud investigators would be the issue of wrongly accusing innocent people of fraud and the tendency of some in an investigative role to view everybody as a potential crook. Well meaning or not, seventeenth century witch hunts can be repeated by modern groups. If all you concentrate upon in life is uncovering fraud, you may start seeing signs of it everywhere.

During the 1980’s, many fires were classified as intentionally set based upon false scientific principles. Many innocent people were accused of arson and insurance fraud based upon junk science, largely made up by the insurance company fire experts. The National Fire Protection Association and physicists eventually published materials debunking the unscientific myths accepted by the insurance fire fraud industry. How many innocent policyholders lost money and their reputations because of the unscientific witch hunts by these overzealous and ignorant insurance fraud investigators?

Today, Barry Zalma calls for complete immunity when he and the insurance companies destroy people’s reputations with wrongful accusations of insurance fraud. He calls for criminal prosecution where the chances of success are only 50%. I do not know if he is just pandering to his insurance clients. He may truly believe society would be better off if he and others in the insurance fraud industry escaped accountability for their wrongful actions.

From my viewpoint, it is much better that one be certain, with unshakable proof, that a person has committed insurance fraud before publicly making the accusation. Insurance fraud is wrong, and there is a need for specialized investigation to help uncover it. Rare occurrences of fraud do not justify an open season on policyholders.