Padding, Inflating and Embellishing Insurance Claims

The reality is that most American’s will have to file a claim for insurance benefits at some point in their lives. The odds just work out that way. Unfortunately, insurance claims are constantly gamed by the claimant to not merely replace the value of the loss, but to benefit from it. This can be done in small ways and large but the reality is that this is a form of insurance fraud. This is done through tactics like padding, inflating and embellishing insurance claims. Padding is extremely common and involves increasing the amount of the claim by a small amount to make up for the deductible the policy holder has to pay. Seem like a small thing and is actually though of an an acceptable practice by many Americans. A March 2013 article in the Insurance Journal indicates that 28% of us believe it is acceptable to pad a claim, with an even higher percentage of young adult males thinking this is acceptable. Inflating an insurance claim is the act of increasing the amount of an insurance claim loss to not only cover the deductible, but to profit from the loss. Many who do this rationalize that they deserve to recoup much of the cost of their policy because insurance companies are rich and overcharge everyone, knowing that people will inflate their claims. They fail to see this as fraud, but fraud it is. When it comes to casualty claims like injuries sustained in a workers compensation loss, auto accident – bodily injury claims or liability claims like a slip and fall, many more of us feel that it is acceptable to “embellish” their injuries to reap benefits for pain and suffering, wage loss, replacement services and attendant care. These are frauds, but because they are considered “soft fraud” they are often viewed as victim-less crimes or even as an entitlement. Fabricating a job you were about to begin, having a friend vouch that they provide services or care for you and the lie are all common examples of soft insurance fraud. These frauds do hurt all of us and insurance carriers have no choice but to review all claims for potential fraud and to charge higher rates to offset the damages these criminals inflict.