Written By: Marquis Codjia
News of insurance fraud typically doesn’t cause much frustration or anger in the general public, but it should. People usually believe, erroneously, that insurance fraud adversely affects only the insurer. This notion is far from the operational reality of most insurance companies because they are able to pass on losses to customers by way of higher premiums, stricter eligibility requirements, or both. A 2010 Southwestern Insurance Information Service report indicates that the average American paid about $950 each year to subsidize insurance fraud.
Insurance fraud happens when a person commits an act to fraudulently obtain an advantage or benefit to which he or she is not entitled. There is also fraud if the person knowingly denies that a benefit is due to someone else, a practice that is referred to as “Krut.” Specialists and lawyers say a person has filed a false insurance claim if the individual knowingly included incorrect information in the claim with the intent of defrauding the insurer. Thanks to the Internet and the rise of electronic commerce, crooks have found fertile ground in which to plant the seeds of asset misappropriation, financial robbery and long-distance embezzlement. Insurance company American National Family of Companies reported that the rise of the Internet has enhanced fraudsters’ ability to steal money from unsuspecting Americans.
Financial profit seems to be the number one cause of insurance fraud. Greed and the desire to earn more than what one is due are possible causes of illicit insurance acts. Other causes include over-insurance, the concept of low risk and high reward, and ineffective claim processes. Over-insurance happens when the amount insured surpasses the value of the insured property. When the fraudster destroys the insured asset, he or she makes money by pocketing the difference between the resource’s fair market value and insurance proceeds. An insurance scam also appears to be a low-risk yet lucrative initiative, a viewpoint that law enforcement typically rejects but that criminals might fondly embrace.
Insurance fraud covers the criminal gamut, from life and health care to automobile and property. A life insurance scam occurs when a person fakes death to claim life insurance. The fraudster might reappear after several years, sometimes in another location and with bodily alterations”think cosmetic surgery.
Health insurance fraud happens when an individual intentionally lies to obtain health benefits in kind or in cash. The federal government, especially Medicaid and Medicare, has established procedures and controls to lessen the frequency and number of medical insurance fraud events. Automobile insurance fraud happens when people fake traffic deaths or stage collisions to demand illicit insurance entitlements and collect money. Property insurance covers things like homes and equipment, and provide a monetary payment to the owner should the worse happen and the property be destroyed. A potential fraudster may be motivated to file an illicit benefit request if the value of the destroyed property is less than the insurance proceeds.
Insurance fraud primarily results from greed, ineffective insurance policies, and the expansion of electronic communication. Even though law enforcement is catching up to crooks, the fight is far from over, and authorities are still coping with the wide array of illicit insurance acts that cover everything from auto and health care to property and life.
Written By: Juan Luckey
Extreme sports aren’t usually covered by insurance since there are greater-than-normal risks of injury or death when people choose to engage in such activities. There are some things that one needs to know when it comes to picking extreme sports insurance.
A person’s sport affects the rates that the insurance provider can give. For example, an insurance policy might not cover a horse ride because it is considered a dangerous activity. When traveling, it is wise to keep a list of sports that are not included in one’s insurance policy. Doing so will help when considering an activity before actually doing it.
If one does not engage in extreme sports regularly, it is best to check the price first before reading the fine print. If there are times a person spontaneously wants to try new things, a suitable policy is easy to decide on. Of course, check the excluded activities first before deciding on the insurance coverage. If there are some doubts in one’s mind, it is important to ask the insurance company for assurance. Individuals should also take note of what is covered in the policy.
Some tour operators offer some form of travel insurance in most of their packages. In such cases, a person should take advantage of this, especially if all of the activities that will be done on the trip are covered. There are also yearly policies that one can choose from. This type of coverage is only applicable when a person is traveling with them.
Two things are needed to be considered before investing in insurance. First, the cost of a policy should be taken into consideration. Compare it to other insurance providers that also offer premiums. If cost is an important issue, then it may be a good idea to grab the deal that is cheaper. Second, the suitability of the person and the activities covered should be considered. There may be other activities included that are not covered by the insurance.
Picking an annual policy is usually the way to go when trying to save money. However, it can be a little tricky, as it necessitates planning a trip ahead of time. The location of the trip and the activities that are going to be done should be planned accordingly. Investing in an annual insurance policy is a wise thing to do only if one is sure about planned trips for the whole year round.
There are activities wherein one needs a special insurance provider. For example, snow sports are dangerous. For this type of sport, there will be an added premium on top of one’s insurance. A person might want to choose this premium to be included in an annual policy. It is important to make sure that every sport that is planned will be included in the policy.
Older travelers might pay double for extreme sports coverage when compared to younger travelers. Medical problems are going to be considered as well. One needs to be transparent to the insurance company about these things.
Getting the right insurance company is important for yearly trips. If something ever happens that results in injury or worse, the premiums that one pays every year will help greatly with the bills. Compare the prices of different insurance providers before investing in one. It is important to ask an insurer about the best deal that can provide protection for the entire family.
Written By: Christie Thomas
According to advertisements, everyone has the cheapest car insurance. So how are you supposed to know where to start? One of the best places to start is an independent insurance agency. This is can be a better alternative than shopping online. Normally, when you shop online, your information is sent to several agents. Then each of these agents will call you wanting more information. When you call an agent then you control who has your information.
In general your biggest expense is going to be young drivers. The only price breaks you can hope for is a good student discount and driver’s education discount. The collision coverage on a young driver is extremely expensive. So if you have a vehicle that has liability coverage only, then list your young driver as the main driver of that vehicle. When looking for the cheapest car insurance don’t automatically think that you have to bundle your home and auto with the same company. While companies do offer discounts if they have both policies, they are not always the best price. Some companies only specialize in auto or home insurance. They may have better prices without a multi-policy discount than the bundled companies’.
When it comes to coverage, make sure you understand the coverage you are buying. Some companies will promote giving you enough coverage to make you legal. This is not necessarily the best idea. While you want the cheapest car insurance you can find, you do not want to have insufficient coverage in an accident. Some states require $25,000 as the minimum for bodily injury and property damage. Let’s say you are at fault and you total someone’s $60,000 car. The insurance company will pay out $25,000 and you will be responsible for the other $35,000. While you want to save money on your monthly bills, you don’t want to be stuck with a big bill if an accident occurs.
Written By: Erica Martin
Traveling overseas can be exciting; however there are a lot of things that travelers need to consider. One of these important considerations is whether or not they should purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance is important because many health insurance companies don’t cover illnesses or injuries that people sustain while traveling overseas. Travel insurance covers travelers if they get sick or injured during their travels, and it also covers other things, such as a trip having to be cut short for some reason. Travel insurance should not cost a lot, however very cheap travel insurance policies may not cover everything that can happen to a traveler during their stay in a foreign country. This article will provide information on different types of travel insurance policies and what they cover. Annual multi-trip travel insurance policies This policy is best for people who travel overseas more than two times over the course of a year. People who travel overseas several times a year for business can benefit from this type of policy, because they will make one payment for the policy and they will be covered for the entire year, rather than having to purchase travel insurance for each trip they make. Annual multi-trip travel insurance policies may not seem like cheap travel insurance policies, but they are much cheaper for someone who travels overseas several times a year. For example, an annual travel plan may cost about $200 for the whole year, whereas travel insurance for a one-time trip may cost around $90, depending on how long the trip is, what state the traveler lives in, and other factors. If the traveler purchased the one-time traveler’s insurance plan, and then had to make additional trips during the year, they could end up spending a lot more on travel insurance than they would if they had purchas! ed the annual multi-trip travel insurance policy for around $200. These policies usually include medical coverage, trip interruption coverage because of an involuntary job loss, such as a layoff, and emergency travel health services. Family travel insurance policies This policy covers all family members who will be traveling together. This type of travel insurance is cheaper than buying individual policies for all family members. For example, one travel insurance company provides family travel insurance for a family of three going on a two week trip, starting as low as $46 for the entire family, to as much as $161 for the entire family, depending on the amount of the deductible and how much of a maximum limit the family would want for coverage. Travel insurance for this family could cost much more if they decided to go with individual policies. Family travel insurance policies usually cover the same types of things annual multi-trip insurance policies cover – medical bills, trip interruptions for work reasons or involuntary job loss, and emergency health services. Many family travel insurance plans also provide travel assistance services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Backpacker travel insurance policies A backpacker travel insurance policy is a cheap travel insurance option for people who will be backpacking, or for those who will be staying in a foreign country for a long period of time. That’s because regular travel insurance is only good for a short period of time – the traveler can extend the policy, but it will cost extra. Backpacker travel insurance policies are good for a longer time however, and the traveler doesn’t need to pay additional costs. They usually cover things like emergency medical or dental assistance, lost or stolen luggage, and trips being cut short for emergency reasons. For example, a backpacker travel insurance policy from one company may cost between $40 and $50 for a 30 day trip, depending on the deductibles and the types of optional coverage the traveler wants. These are the three different types of travel insurance policies available to people who plan to travel overseas. In order to select the right policy, the traveler needs to know what kind of traveling they’ll be doing, how much traveling they’ll be doing, and if they’ll be traveling with others. Once the traveler has figured out these three things, they’ll have a better idea of what kind of travel insurance they need, and they can start looking for the best travel insurance rate.
Written By: Gary Rothbard MD MS
With prices skyrocketing, many people probably believe that obtaining affordable health insurance is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, in a lot of ways, that’s very true. There was a time long ago when you could obtain cheap insurance that was actually cheap, but recently such options have become rare. Or so it would seem. There is some good news however. If you do some research, you’ll find there is a middle ground between being insured by an employer and being uninsured or on Medicaid. Some options are better than others, and the price range is still wide, but if you’re looking for cheap insurance, it’s nice to know that such a thing still exists, sort of. There are basically two paths for the patient on a budget, depending on your needs and conditions. The first involves a series of plans ranging from PPO to HMO, priced between $300 – $600 per month, based on benefits and responsibilities. The most comprehensive are generally more expensive, though there are tradeoffs involving lowered premiums for higher deductibles and coinsurance percentages. A higher deductible is fine, as long as you don’t end up having to meet it; and even small coinsurance can yield enormous expenses in the event of catastrophe. The other choices are hospital-only plans, which provide complete inpatient and ER coverage (minus a small deductible or co-pay), but nothing else. These plans certainly qualify as cheap insurance, but they are primarily for persons who are healthy and want a plan to cover 100% of costs in the unlikely event it’s needed. Such plans go for as little as $150 per month, but with limitations. Which path you should choose depends on whether doctor visits are a normal part of your life and if so, what they cost. Regardless, it is imperative to pay attention to deductibles and coinsurance in the former; and to become intimately acquainted with the fine print policies and restrictions of the latter.