How Massachusetts Arson Fraud Affects Your Mass Property Insurance
House fires are usually devastating events, but what if the house is intentionally burnt down by the homeowner? When that happens, it’s likely you’re looking at a case of insurance fraud. Arson fraud, like all types of property insurance fraud, has the long term effect of driving Mass property insurance costs up.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 50,000 structures and vehicles are intentionally burnt down per year, costing about $1 billion in damage. The consequences of arson fraud can be far more serious than just increasing the average cost of insurance premiums - arson can be deadly.
Most insurance companies have teams that specialize in fraud investigation and look out for “red flags” that indicate a potentially suspicious claim. Some of these red flags include: making a claim soon after a policy has been purchased, a policyholder who is having financial difficulties, an extensive claims history, items that one would expect to see damaged strangely missing and inconsistencies in the policyholder’s story. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) also utilizes a list of red flags or “suspicious loss indicators”, to assist with fraud investigation.
Insurance fraud is a serious crime and you should be serious about reporting it if you’d prefer your Mass property insurance costs to decrease rather than rise in the future. Make sure you contact NICB to report any suspicious behavior.