Travel Insurance Fraud Explained by a NY Criminal Lawyer
Travel insurance is purchased from private insurance providers to protect people who are going on holiday. There are myriad different types of travel insurance, from policies that pay for lost luggage to health insurance policies for those abroad to coverage in case you need to cancel a trip because you get sick or have a family emergency. There is a very real need for travel insurance when tickets and trips are nonrefundable and when significant money is at stake.
In some cases, however, travel insurers accuse policyholders of fraudulent behavior when they make a claim. An accusation of fraud can lead to a denied claim or, if funds were paid out, to an insurer instituting a civil action to recover the funds. In some cases, those accused of travel insurance fraud can also face criminal charges.
If you are being prosecuted or are under investigation by the police, contacting a NY insurance fraud lawyer may be your best option to try to stay out of jail and avoid serious penalties. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC handles all types of insurance fraud cases and our NY fraud defense lawyers will help you to fight your charges whenever accusations of dishonest behavior arise.
What is Travel Insurance Fraud?
Travel insurance fraud is the illegal act of making false claims to a travel insurance provider. If you seek to obtain money from an insurance provider for losses that did not occur or for losses that should not be covered, you can be charged with travel insurance fraud.
In some cases, the insured policyholder is the one who submits the fraudulent claim and faces criminal charges. There are also others who could be involved in a travel insurance fraud scheme, including doctors at clinics who charge travel insurers for “injury treatment” that is never performed. Anyone who is part of a conspiracy to improperly obtain funds from a travel insurance provider could be charged with a criminal offense and potentially jailed as a result. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Types of Travel Insurance Fraud
Different types of false claims and misleading statements made to insurers that could be considered travel fraud include:
- Making a claim for lost baggage when nothing was actually lost, or inflating the value of items you allegedly had in baggage that was misplaced.
- Claiming injuries sustained on a trip that never occurred, and/or seeking treatment in clinics where doctors make false claims for care not provided.
- Medical providers overcharging for treatment in travel clinics because they believe that is what the insurance will pay, not because that is what the services are worth.
- Claiming a trip had to be cancelled because of illness or emergency when you cancel for other reasons not covered by travel insurance.
Travel insurance providers are aware that their product is a value product and that their policyholders buy only single-use policies and have no ongoing relationship with the insurer. Providers generally believe these circumstances increase the risk of fraud and, as a result, are sometimes aggressive in seeking to identify dishonest claims. This can result in innocent people with legitimate needs being accused of fraud. As soon as accusations are made against you, contact an experienced travel insurance fraud lawyer for help defending your good name and fighting criminal charges that could result in jail time and financial loss.
Penalties for Travel Insurance Fraud
New York criminalizes insurance fraud in Article 176 of the Penal Code. There are five different degrees of insurance fraud, as well as a crime of aggravated insurance fraud. Insurance fraud rises to the felony level in New York as soon as accusations are made that you attempted to defraud an insurer of $1,000 or more. The more money at stake in a fraudulent travel insurance claim, the more significant the penalties for the offense.
Fraud can also lead to other charges on the state and federal level depending upon your specific actions. Your attorney will carefully review charges, identify what the prosecutor has to prove, explain potential penalties and develop a strategic defense.
Contact a NY Travel Insurance Fraud Lawyer
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal representation in cases where defendants are accused of insurance fraud. If you are charged with travel insurance fraud, give us a call so we can get our experienced legal team working on your case.