West palm beach, fl - Se habla espanol

It's Hurricane Season: Learn about Florida Insurance Fraud Charges Now

Florida’s 2017 hurricane season has been predicted to be one of the most severe in years, and Irma is just the beginning. The damage wrought by Irma and other potential storms will result in millions or even billions of dollars in property insurance claims.Unfortunately, hurricane insurance fraud is on the rise in Florida, and is driving up the cost of insurance for Floridians everywhere. Therefore, the insurance companies will be on the lookout for insurance fraud following Irma, as will law enforcement.Before you submit your insurance claim for any damage you suffered due to Irma, take some time to familiarize yourself with our state’s insurance fraud laws.

Types of Insurance Fraud

Hurricane insurance fraud occurs when victims (or purported victims) of a hurricane defraud insurance companies by filing false or exaggerated claims. The most common type of insurance fraud following a hurricane is property insurance fraud, wherein property owners file false or exaggerated claims for loss or damage of property.Hard Insurance FraudHard insurance fraud occurs when a policyholder files a completely fraudulent and deliberately fabricated claim. In some situations the loss or damage may not have occurred at all, while in others policyholders may deliberately damage property to falsify hurricane damages.Hard insurance fraud is often caught when investigators find that no damages were actually incurred, or notice that supposed damages are manmade. Because the intent of hard insurance fraud is often clear, this may be harder to defend in court.

Soft Insurance Fraud

Soft insurance fraud, or opportunistic fraud, occurs when policyholders pad a legitimate claim, exaggerating the extent of the claimed loss or damage. This is often caught by insurance adjustors, who typically confirm damages prior to paying out on a policy. This type of insurance fraud may be more defensible, as policyholders could reasonably overestimate the extent of damages by mistake.

FEMA Fraud

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues relief funds in the wake of catastrophic disasters, such as Hurricane Irma. FEMA also issues flood insurance to property owners, which is a common claim following any hurricane.Although most FEMA claims are legitimate, property owners or policyholders may also attempt to defraud FEMA by filing fraudulent, duplicate, or exaggerated claims. Importantly, this is considered to be federal fraud, and is automatically charged as a felony.

West Palm Beach Insurance Fraud Attorney

How Florida Insurance Fraud Is Charged

The penalties for insurance fraud in Florida are more severe than in many other states. For example, soft insurance fraud is tried as a misdemeanor in most states, while in Florida the vast majority of insurance fraud cases are tried as felonies. Federal charges are even more severe than state charges in Florida, so insurance fraud is very serious. The extent to which insurance fraud is charged and punished in Florida depends upon the amount of the claim.Fraud involving property valued under $20,000 is charged as a third degree felony. If the property is valued from $20,000-$100,000, insurance fraud is charged as a second degree felony. If the property is valued at $100,000 or more, the offender is charged with a first degree felony. Sentencing may vary from case to case, but can include state or federal prison time and fines of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If You Are Accused of Insurance Fraud

Regardless of the extent of the fraud in question, insurance fraud is a very serious charge, particularly in Florida. If you have been accused of insurance fraud or are under investigation, consult with a criminal defense attorney as early in the process as possible. This will ensure that your rights are protected, and give your case the best possible chance of a favorable outcome.About the Author:Attorney David W. Olson is the founder of the Law Offices of David W. Olson in West Palm Beach. He has been practicing criminal law and successfully representing clients throughout the State of Florida for over 30 years. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Olson has been honored numerous times for both his dedication and excellence in criminal law. He proudly holds the Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, as well as being recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013), in the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys (2015), and as a 10 Best Member of the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys (2015). He has even received commendations from members of congress and other public officials for the fantastic work that he's done. Mr. Olson graduated from the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law in 1981 and has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1983.

Free case review

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

testimonials

Better call Saul? More like, BETTER CALL OLSON!

“David W. Olson is the best lawyer I have come across. He truly will sit and listen to your story and no matter what he will fight for your rights. He is very compassionate, and understanding. He will work with you and does his job with a good heart. Mr. Olson truly has saved my life and gave me a second chance. You wont go wrong with hiring David Olson as your attorney. I highly recommend him and I am proud to have chosen him as my attorney.”

mateo

Found the Best!

“David Olson has represented me on two occasions. I have since referred two of my friends and my nephew to him, and they have all told me they’ll always be grateful for that. Mr. Olson somehow had the charges dropped in both of my cases (actually, I do know how, because he and his staff answered all my questions and explained in detail things that I never would have thought of).”

jacob

Compassionate Attorney

"My husband and I hired Mr. Olson to represent our son a Florida gun shot victim. We are New Jersey residents. From day one we felt comfortable with Mr. Olson and found him to be easy to talk to and a very good listener. This was important to us after our horrible experience with another attorney who was more concerned with hearing himself speak than our wishes."

donna

Personable and Highly Intelligent!

“I saw David today to discuss some possible outcomes and possibilities of a probable future case. I did not know if I was going to be charged at all but I wanted to speak to someone to get a better idea of what I was looking at and what my options were. As soon as I shook his hand I felt very comfortable and respected. I laid it all out for him and asked him every last question I had, all of which were answered respectfully and intelligently.”

Daniel

The Best of the Best

"I have known David Olson for over 20 yrs. now and have had my rough times in my past and unfortunately I ended up in trouble with the law and really needed help from a real lawyer. I needed someone to listen to my side of the story and really fight my cases in court for me and get the BEST results for my cases. A very close friend said the man for the job is David W Olson; So I contacted him & he came to me the very next day to hear me out and I knew he was the lawyer that would do the best for me and he did.”

Chet B.

Hearty Recommendation

"I hired Mr. Olson from recommendation by family member. He was immediately behind my situation and put me completely at ease. There were no false promises, very upfront as far as expectations and outcomes.

His assistant, Jessica was a joy to work with as well. They came to my house, interviewed witnesses, went above and beyond and always respond to my calls. I totally endorse this attorney."

Eunice