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Complaint 24 of 36 in "Claim Denied or Delayed"
I reported my car stolen to my insurance company about a month ago. It seems that they are suspicious about something, as they want me and my roommate to come in for questioning. My question is: What are my rights? What is the insurance company allowed to demand from me? Can they force my cousin to come in for questioning? I am in California, by the way.
Insurance Expert Answer:
When an insurance company suspects fraud, it can be relentless.
The fraud investigators typically are former law enforcement officials or rookie or wanna-be cops. However, as they are not police or prosecutors themselves, and can't compel witness testimony, they have to rely on persuasion.
Here's our take. If you are caught up in a possible insurance fraud situation, hire a lawyer. Sure, it's expensive. But it's worth it as it is far less expensive than destruction of your life. Filing a fraudulent claim is a serious felony, and as it involves attempted deception, can screw up the whole of someone's life.
Say nothing to the investigators other than you will be seeking professional advice. There is one more point. Sometimes insurance companies are over-zealous, cross the line and deny claims asserting there was fraud where there was none. If the company acts in bad faith, it can be liable for that bad faith. If that's your situation, hiring a lawyer who firsts advises or defends you and then refers you to an insurance bad faith lawyer can be profitable.