South Dakota Insurance Fraud Laws
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Insurance fraud can occur in a number of different ways, but generally involves an insured individual (or entity) filing a fraudulent insurance claim by making up a fictitious loss or exaggerating the extent of a loss that did occur. However, insurance fraud can also be committed by uninsured parties or by insurance providers. The table below outlines South Dakota's main insurance fraud law.
|South Dakota Code section 58-4A-2: Fraudulent Insurance Acts
|A person commits a fraudulent insurance act if the person:
- Knowingly and with the intent to defraud or deceive issues or possesses counterfeit insurance policies, certificates of insurance, insurance identification cards, or insurance binders
- Is engaged in the insurance business and receives money for the purpose of purchasing insurance and instead steals the money to the offender's own benefit (or for some other unintended purpose)
- Willfully embezzles, steals, or misappropriates funds or other property of an insurer or of an insured party
- Knowingly and with the intent to defraud or deceive makes a false statement relating to a document filed with or required by the Division of Insurance
- Knowingly and with the intent to defraud or deceive removes (or attempts to remove) or destroys the assets or records of an insurer
- Knowingly and with the intent to defraud or deceive presents or prepares documents that contain false, incomplete, or misleading information concerning an insurance claim, or
- Making false or fraudulent representations regarding the death or disability of a policy holder for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining money or a benefit under an insurance policy
- Violation for an amount of $400 or less: Class 2 misdemeanor.
- Violations for an amount between $400 and $1,000: Class 1 misdemeanor.
- Violations for an amount of $1,000 or greater: Class 4 felony.
- Any other violation of this section: Class 1 misdemeanor.
The Insurance Fraud Prevention Unit
In South Dakota, the Insurance Fraud Prevention Unit is responsible for investigating and prosecuting fraudulent insurance acts. The Unit is charged with performing the following acts:
- Conduct investigations if the unit has cause to believe that a fraudulent insurance act has been or may be committed
- Review reports of alleged fraudulent insurance acts to determine whether such reports require further investigation
- Undertake independent studies to determine the extent of fraudulent insurance acts
- Promote awareness of insurance fraud through educational programs
- Prosecute fraudulent insurance acts on behalf of the state through criminal and civil proceedings, and
- Cooperate with federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, and the attorney general in the investigation and prosecution of fraudulent insurance acts
Suspected insurance fraud in South Dakota should be reported to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Unit. Any person who, in good faith, reports suspected insurance fraud (relating to suspected, anticipated, or completed fraudulent insurance acts) is immune from civil liability in most instances. For more information about immunity from civil liability for information reported in good faith see South Dakota Code section 58-4A-13.
State laws change frequently. For case specific information about South Dakota's insurance fraud laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer or consumer protection attorney.