Like other states, Texas has laws which prosecutors and regulators can use to punish people convicted of insurance fraud.
Again like other states, it might be surprising what a broad range of activities can fall under the umbrella of insurance fraud.
For instance, someone who because of financial trouble chooses to burn their property or falsely claim their car was stolen could land in to hot water for insurance fraud.
However, it is also true that a worker who takes on another side job while drawing work comp benefits can also be accused of fraud, as can a business which really did have a leaky roof or a burglary but added into its claim items which were not actually damaged or taken.
Even a person who is less than completely forthright about their driving record or about the nature of their business, perhaps in an effort to get a lower premium, can face insurance fraud allegations.
The bottom line is that people from all walks of life, including homeowners and businessowners, can find themselves being targeted by state investigators for an insurance fraud investigation.
While sometimes these charges are the result of some really bad decisions made in the heat of financial pressure, insurance companies and investigators frequently confuse fraud with what are at best honest mistakes or ignorance about how the system works.
At worst, what prosecutors call fraud really is professional carelessness which, whatever it may be, is not a crime.
The penalties for insurance fraud are serious. Any accusation where the amount of the alleged fraud is at least $2,500 is a felony charge, with the potential jail sentences getting more serious depending on the amount involved. In addition to a jail sentence, the court must also require the accused to pay restitution.