It’s no secret that the economy is in terrible shape these days. Many people are either unemployed or underemployed, and are looking for ways to make ends meet. One of the more unscrupulous ways that people have decided to find money to pay bills is by engaging in acts of fraud.
Insurance fraud in particular has become a big problem in recent years, since many people consider it a way to get money without stealing. Of course, insurance fraud is a form of theft, but since it lacks the traditional guise of physically taking something that belongs to another person, many people don’t see it that way.
And, as such, people have been taking fraudulent measures with insurance in order to make a quick buck in these hard times. One of the most popular ways to commit insurance fraud actually comes at the behest of small businesses. If you happen to have insurance clients who own small businesses, you should discuss the following with them and be sure they’re aware if somebody is trying to hit them with a fraudulent claim.
The fraudulent claim that’s gained a lot of popularity in recent years is slip and fall claims. This is one of the most basic forms of insurance fraud – essentially, an individual manages to injure themselves somehow on the property of the small business and files a claim in order to extract insurance money from the business owner. Many small businesses, in their haste to avoid legal battles, choose to hand out payments to people who file slip and fall claims rather than perform due diligence against fraud.
While it may seem “simpler” to many small business owners who have an angry client on their hands to simply pay out insurance money, remind your small business owner clients that this is not a good idea. Fraudulent slip and fall payments only make the overall insurance premiums higher, so they’ll reap it the next time there’s an insurance hike.
If you think that the rise in slip and fall fraudulent claiming sounds more like hearsay than anything else, there’s a considerable amount of evidence behind it – the National Insurance Crime Bureau has noted that slip and fall claims have risen as much as 57 percent over the last two years. In addition, the first half of 2010 saw 997 questionable slip and fall claims alone.
So, in order to gain a reputation as a reliable insurance agent, you should definitely speak with your clients about the likelihood of fraud and what kind of diligence measures should be taken in order to lessen the amount of fraud payment. Nobody wants to pay more on their insurance – insurance should be used as a means only when it’s necessary for the client, not for when somebody decides it would be a quick way to make a dollar!