As you probably already know, renters’ insurance, motor vehicle insurance, and arson insurance all provide people with coverage for any sort of damage that might be caused by a fire. When it comes down to it, even if your possessions, home, or vehicle are destroyed in some sort of a fire, you can still be compensated for any costs involved in replacing these items. There are many reasons why an accidental fire can happen, and anyone who owns property can be compensated at any point should they suffer a loss that’s covered by their policy. If someone starts this fire, whoever holds the policy can then also be covered by any of the damage that was caused by this crime of arson.
There are some actual cases where policyholders who are insured are for whatever reason accused of burning down their own vehicle or home, or of intentionally starting a fire in order to destroy their own property. Whenever this occurs, being accused of arson insurance fraud can have some very far reaching consequences. As well as the inevitable delay in getting your claim with the insurance company paid or even a potential lawsuit to recover the funds that you essentially stole, you can also end up in jail should you be convicted of a crime.
Of course it’s essential that you not take on this case by yourself, and instead hire the right defense attorney for the job, someone who has extensive experience dealing specifically with arson insurance fraud cases. Considering just how serious of a charge this is, you can’t afford to not have the best possible defense for your case.
What is arson insurance fraud?
In simple terms, arson insurance fraud is when you set a fire intentionally, or hire another person to set the fire, all with the intention of either damaging or destroying some kind of insured property. The whole goal of this kind of crime is basically just to get that insurance company to give you a payout for any losses that might have been caused as a result of the fire, despite the fact that the fire was intentionally set.
What are the different types of insurance fraud?
Arson insurance fraud can have to do with a fire that was set in a vehicle, a rental unit, or a home. As an example, someone who’s very behind on their home mortgage might end up starting a fire in their home in order to get a payout on the repair or replacement of the house.
The thing with these cases is that it’s difficult for prosecution to figure out if a fire happened because of arson fraud or if it was just an accident. For instance, someone who leaves the stove on and the goes to sleep for the night, or even someone who goes to sleep while smoking a cigarette hasn’t actually committed arson since these were both accidental. However, if someone were to intentionally put some items that were flammable next to a stove and then light that stove in order to start a fire and get a payout, then they’d be guilty of arson insurance fraud.
What are the penalties for arson insurance fraud?
Along with being charged for arson insurance fraud should you end up in court for this, you can also potentially be facing regular charges of arson as well. Along with this, you can also face a charge of insurance fraud too. There are several different degrees of arson charges, ranging in severity from one through five degrees, and that applies to both insurance fraud and arson. Fifth degree charges aren’t considered to be as serious as the other charges, but first degree charges are felony crimes that can end up landing you in prison for a long time.
If you did participate in some kind of arson fraud scam, then you can end up getting charged with every crime that was committed in order to perform the act of arson. So for instance, if you hired a criminal to burn your home down and then make a false insurance claim after the fact, you can be charged with both insurance fraud and arson.
If you’re facing any kind of legal trouble, it’s best that you reach out to the law firm of Joseph Potashnik and Associates, PC. We’ll get you the help you need.