Most Common Types of Life Insurance Frauds
Insurance fraud seems like an easy job. One might wonder, how hard can it be? Abandon your car, report it stolen, file for insurance, cash your check and head out for that vacation. Or else, it isn’t much difficult for the fraudster to forge documents and present himself as a bank official, get you to buy an insurance policy, and fly away with your money.
These might seem like great ideas; however, they don’t really pan out in the real world. Insurance fraud is a serious felony, as it is a very clear and specific form of robbery. Insurance frauds can occur at any stage of the transaction, from looking for an insurance agent to filing the insurance claim, and by any of the parties involved. This includes the applicants, third-party claimants, policyholders, insurance brokers, and even those providing service to claimants.
While news and pop culture often highlight life insurance frauds that involve feigned deaths and murders, there are various other common and less sensational types of insurance frauds. You might find cases where someone else’s policy is altered without the policyholder’s approval or purposefully misstating the information in the application to avail of cheaper premiums. The retribution for lesser serious frauds includes a policy cancellation, higher premiums, or no coverage, while for serious and large-scale life insurance frauds, legal authorities might be involved along with some jail time.
Learning about the different types of life insurance frauds can help avoid being duped. Let’s look at some of the most common types of life insurance frauds in India.
Cases where someone knowingly provides false information on the application form are known as application fraud. Also known as concealment or material misrepresentation, these make for some of the most common frauds in India.
When you apply for a life insurance policy, the insurer requires you to fill out certain information in the application form and may conduct a telemedical interview, to evaluate you. The process may also involve insurance agents or a broker. Hiding information at this stage or misrepresenting facts counts as fraud. For example, if you are a smoker but do not mention so on your application, this would be concealment. The company might be able to find out the truth through your medical reports and might cancel your application in this scenario.
Phony policy fraud:
Another highly common life insurance fraud in India is fake policy fraud where scammers pretending to be life insurance agents offer you a fake policy and pocket the premiums you pay. The fraudsters pretend to represent established brands, like in various other financial scams, and develop trust before setting up payments for the policy.
Take this for example. Mr. Anil received a call after applying for a life insurance policy on the Bajaj Finserv website https://www.bajajfinserv.in/.
The scammer pretended to be an insurance agent and asked him to share his payment information over the phone. When Mr. Anil was about to make the payment, he realised that the payee was someone else and not the company. This made him doubt the caller and he decided to immediately report him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Claims fraud refers to a life insurance fraud that involves faking a death or murder to claim the money. People often fake their own death or the death of a loved one to avail themselves the benefits of a life insurance policy. Another way a fraudster can claim life insurance is by killing the policyholder in order to avail the policy benefits. Though a bit lower in numbers, people do go out to such extent for the pay-out.
You can save yourself from such frauds by verifying and ensuring that you work with licensed insurance agents. Check their client history and run a background check before you make any payments. Review your life insurance policy regularly to ensure that your policy details are correct and have not been tampered with. It is important to handle your policies with utmost care and safety, as you age.
Stay alert, stay safe from online frauds in India.
Savdhan Rahein. Safe Rahein.
- Always visit https://www.bajajallianzlife.com/ for life insurance related queries and https://www.bajajallianz.com/general-insurance.html for any general insurance related information.
- Infosec Page – https://www.bajajfinserv.in/infosec-pages
- Fraud Awareness Blog - https://www.bajajfinserv.in/insights/fraud-awareness
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