A Close Look into Florida Insurance Fraud Claims

By: Garin Flowers Email
By: Garin Flowers Email

We first met the Patel family back in August when a lawsuit almost cost them thousands of dollars.

Selina Williams, 23, was suing the Patel's for allegedly falling and injuring herself in their store. The case went on for two years.

After months of investigation, the Jefferson county Sheriff's Office arrested Williams and charged her with two counts of insurance fraud

"You got to run and a business and you have to worry about other problems and you just really don't want to worry about that," said Anil Patel whose family runs the IGA Grocery Store in Monticello.

Authorities say a surveilllance tape shows that Williams had not been injured in a fall.

Her case now heads to court later this month and if found guilty, Williams could face jail time and or other penalties.

If someone fakes a fall and makes an insurance claim, it's their word against the business, especially if there are no cameras around. But, that doesn't mean they'll get away with it.

Nina Ashley works with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer in Florida. The insurance fraud department looks into thousands of cases each year. It's estimated that insurance fraud costs the U.S. $80 billion dollars or more a year.

"Insurance fraud is any scheme to collect or attempt to collect fraudulently on an insurance policy," said Ashley.

One such case involved the infamous baby talker.

Back in the 90's a Florida man and his wife came up with a clever scheme to make false claims.

Bruce Gilbert acted as if stress from his job as a bus driver, caused him to have a rare disorder, making him talk and act like a baby.

Gilbert and his wife were arrested in Lake City Florida and convicted.

There are dozens of ways to commit insurance fraud or cheat people out of money.

Some of the more common in Florida include:

-Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Fraud which made up more than half of the claims last year.
-Vehicle Fraud
-Application Fraud
-and Homeowner's fraud.


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