The most common types of homeowners insurance fraud in Pennsylvania involve:

  • overstating the value of stolen items in a burglary of a home or vehicle
  • lying about the extent‚ cause‚ date or location of damage
  • intentionally damaging property to make a claim
  • staging a phony burglary or vehicle break–in and faking the theft or damage
    of property
  • asking a repairman to "cover the deductible" by increasing their estimate or bill
  • fabricating supporting evidence‚ such as repair bills or receipts‚ often in collusion with a crooked contractor‚ plumber‚ repairman or insurance adjuster
  • concealing that a residence is used as a rental or in a commercial business

Examples

Here are a few typical scenarios to illustrate some of the different ways homeowners insurance fraud can be committed:

A strong storm blew the shingles off of John’s house. When the insurance adjuster inspected the roof, John also said some siding was damaged during the storm, even though the siding had been damaged when John bought the house.
During a trip to Philadelphia, Rebecca’s car was broken into. Her motor vehicle insurance paid to fix the damage done to the car. On her homeowners insurance claim, she said the items she lost were a lot nicer than they really were — a leather coat instead of a denim jacket — and she added a few extra items to the list she gave to her homeowners insurance company.
Zeke’s big screen TV quit working, then his home was struck by lightning. He told his insurance company the TV had been damaged by the electrical storm.

To view a TV spot from the prevention campaign that addresses the issue of homeowners insurance fraud‚ click here.

To view the billboard from the prevention campaign that addresses the issue of homeowners insurance fraud‚ click here.

To download a brochure from the prevention campaign that explains the issue of homeowners insurance fraud, click here.

Consequences

Homeowners insurance fraud is a serious crime. As with all other types of insurance fraud‚ Pennsylvania considers it a felony. Violators can spend up to seven years in prison and spend up to $15‚000 in fines. There are also many other associated expenses such as court costs and legal fees. Plus‚ those found guilty of insurance fraud have the stigmas and limitations of being a convicted felon to carry with them for life.