Scroll to read more

Insurance fraud is a complex issue that has plagued the insurance industry for decades. It is a dishonest act committed by either the claimant or the insurer to obtain illegitimate financial gain. This type of fraud affects everyone involved in the insurance process, from policyholders to insurers, leading to increased premiums and distrust in the industry.

Types of Insurance Fraud

Hard Fraud: This involves creating a situation or incident with the intent of defrauding an insurance company. It could range from staging car accidents, intentionally causing property damage, or faking one’s own death to claim life insurance benefits.

Soft Fraud: This type of fraud is more common and involves policyholders exaggerating claims. For instance, after a genuine car accident, a claimant might exaggerate their injuries or the cost of repairs to receive a higher payout.

Premium Diversion: This occurs when an insurance agent fails to send premiums to the underwriter and keeps the money for personal use.

Agent Fraud: Insurance agents might sell policies that don’t exist and pocket the premiums, or they might manipulate policy details to gain higher commissions.

Application Fraud: It occurs when an individual provides false information when applying for insurance. This could be lying about health conditions on a life insurance application or underreporting the number of miles driven annually on a car insurance application.

Health Insurance Fraud: This can be committed by both providers and patients. A common example is when a healthcare provider bills for services not provided or overprices the services given.

How Not to Commit Soft Fraud & Understanding Insurance

Insurance is a vital tool in today’s unpredictable world. At its core, insurance is a contract between an individual and an insurance company, wherein the individual pays a premium in exchange for the insurer’s promise to cover specific financial losses or liabilities that may arise in the future. By spreading the risk among many policyholders, insurance companies provide a safety net against unforeseen events, ranging from health emergencies and car accidents to property damages and even life’s eventualities.

One common yet overlooked issue is soft insurance fraud. Unlike hard fraud, where someone deliberately plans or invents a loss, such as staging a car accident, soft fraud involves inflating genuine claims. For example, someone involved in a minor car accident might exaggerate the extent of their injuries or the damage to their vehicle, hoping to get a bigger payout.

Though some view soft fraud as harmless, it’s illegal and unethical. It not only results in higher premiums for honest policyholders but also strains the trust between insurance companies and their clients. Many people unknowingly commit soft fraud, thinking they’re getting their money’s worth after paying premiums for years.

Consequences of Insurance Fraud

The Economic Impact: Insurance fraud leads to billions of dollars in losses annually. This forces insurance companies to raise premiums for all policyholders, not just those who commit fraud. The ripple effect is felt throughout the economy, as businesses and consumers bear the increased costs.

Legal Consequences: Many jurisdictions have strict laws against insurance fraud. Those found guilty might face some big fines, restitution, probation, community service, or even imprisonment.

Increased Scrutiny: Due to the prevalence of insurance fraud, insurance companies have established special investigation units (SIUs). These units scrutinize claims thoroughly, which can lead to delays in payouts even for legitimate claims.

Personal Consequences: Those who commit insurance fraud and are caught might find it difficult to obtain insurance in the future. Their records will influence their ability to secure jobs, especially in sectors that require a high level of trust.

Breaking of Trust: Insurance is built on the principle of utmost good faith. Fraud breaks this trust, leading to a strained relationship between insurers and policyholders. People may become aware of the insurance products or may feel that they have to be extremely cautious when filing claims.

Societal Impact: Insurance fraud isn’t a victimless crime. As costs rise, some might opt to forego insurance altogether, leaving them vulnerable to significant financial risk. This can lead to increased burdens on public resources if uninsured individuals or businesses suffer losses.


Insurance fraud is a serious problem that affects more than just the perpetrators and the immediate victims. The ripple effects are felt throughout society in the form of increased premiums, mistrust, and strained resources.

By understanding the types of fraud and their consequences, individuals can be more vigilant and play their part in curbing this problem.