White lies. Tall tales. A fabrication. An exaggeration. A fib. What do you call a lie? In the insurance industry, we call it a risk that isn’t worth it. Sure, it may be tempting to tell your insurance agent that your car is stored in a safe, crime-free community, or that your dog is a mixed breed rather than a pit bull in order to gain access to lower rates. In the end, however, lying to save money can lead to future expenses and headaches that can far outweigh any amount of savings.
Not only can not being truthful to your agent lead to financial consequences, but it can also potentially have legal ramifications. Insurance fraud is both a state and federal crime. When the insured is dishonest, the process of applying for insurance and collecting on a claim is slowed down remarkably. A simple lie of omission or a blatant fabrication can mean a policy cancellation, claim denial, or premium increases.
We get it. We really do. It is really tempting to tell your insurance provider that your car is kept in a small, quiet, crime-free neighborhood and falsely use the address of your friend or relative. The price difference between towns can be amazing and just enough to make you give a second thought to lying to your agent.
Then there are the lies about your home and property. Some homeowners commit a lie of omission by leaving out high-risk items at their home when filling out insurance applications. That trampoline or pool in your backyard comes with high risks that will need to be covered in the case that someone is injured or dies. We don’t want to frighten our clients, but isn’t it better to have the liability coverage than risk losing it all when an accident occurs?
Then there are the lies about the size and contents of one’s home. If you have done any renovations to your home, be sure to inform your agent. Failure to do so may result in only being protected for the original layout of the house and its materials. The same goes for any large purchases such as a home security system, audio system, or adding a man cave in your basement. Any upgrade should be revealed so, in the case of a fire, flood, or another catastrophe, your policy will cover the rebuilding or replacing of your damaged property.
The list of untruths could go on and on. We really have seen them all. From misreporting about a credit score to covering up speeding tickets, there is not a scenario that we haven’t encountered.
Honesty really is the best policy for your financial and emotional sake. Think about the risk. Is it worth it for the lie to be discovered later (it always is) and to not be covered for something, or worse yet, be legally responsible for an event? Insurance fraud is no joke and the authorities will catch up with you eventually. Take a look at the consequences at the FBI Insurance Fraud page as well as at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners site.
We truly care about each and every one of our clients. Many of you are friends as well as clients. Just be honest with us and we will work diligently to get you the lowest rates we can while still covering you completely. Talk to us about your unique situation. Call us at (978) 774-4338 or visit our site.