Beware of Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud can happen in any line of insurance, including auto, homeowners, health, life, workers compensation and medical malpractice. Companies selling fraudulent insurance operate through direct mail solicitations, newspaper or magazine advertisements, notices posted in public places such as telephone poles, over the internet or by unsolicited fax.
Avoid Being a Victim of Insurance Fraud
Before You Buy
- Review all documentation carefully. Never buy coverage over the phone without first requesting and reviewing all written documentation. Legitimate health plans will always clearly disclose their name, address and telephone number on all marketing materials – fraudulent plans will not.
- Research “Discount” health plans and cards carefully. Discount plans are not insurance, but some may fraudulently market themselves to appear insurance-like.
- Check out websites. Don’t purchase coverage from a website that does not provide a physical address and valid phone number. If a website only lists a P.O. Box, an email address or an “800” number, it is very likely that offered coverage is fraudulent.
Make sure the insurance agent and company are licensed. Before you commit to any purchase, make sure the insurance agent and company are licensed or that the discount plan is registered in Illinois by contacting the Department of Insurance.
Official looking business cards, forms, envelopes or internet web sites are not proof that the entity is properly licensed. If you buy insurance from an unlicensed entity, you have no guarantee that the policy complies with Illinois laws or that the coverage you pay for will be honored.
Watch for These Signs of Possible Insurance Fraud
- You get a quote that is far lower than ones you have previously received;
- You receive an unsolicited offer, quote or advertisement by fax, phone, email or mail;
- A company accepts everyone and does not ask questions about current health status or prior claims experience;
- An agent or company tells you this is your “last chance to get a special deal” or the offer “expires” or is for a “limited time only”
- No physical address, phone numbers, or names of company officers appear on the website or literature
- You are told “This insurance is not regulated by the state” or “This is not insurance”
- You are asked for authorization to withdraw money from your bank account or you are asked for credit card information over the phone