What is insurance fraud in Georgia?

It has happened to many of us. We get in a wreck, we have a house fire, or something is stolen from our place of residence. In these instances, we often turn to our insurance companies to seek relief for our damages. While this is certainly legal and can provide much financial relief, those who lie to their insurance companies in an attempt to recover compensation are likely breaking the law, and, if convicted, they may be subjected to significant penalties.

Under Georgia law, it is illegal to knowingly lie or conceal an important fact related to an insurance claim. The types of insurance covered under the law are life, fire, property, workers' compensation, healthcare, and automobile. Therefore, if an individual stages a car accident, intentionally sets fire to his or her home, or lies about property taken from his or her home, then he or she may be found to have committed insurance fraud.

The penalties for insurance fraud are significant. The offense is considered a felony, and a conviction could land an individual in prison for up to 10 years. Additionally, a fine of up to $10,000 may be levied against the convicted individual, and he or she may be required to pay restitution, meaning he or she may have to pay back all of the money that was paid to him or her by the insurance company.

Allegations related to fraud should be taken seriously. Failing to put forth a strong criminal defense could result in an unfavorable outcome that could leave an individual behind bars for years, and seriously damaging his or her life for years, perhaps even decades, to come. Therefore, when facing a criminal charge, an individual should fully consider his or her legal options.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia Insurance Fraud Law," accessed on July 19, 2015

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