How Life Insurance Agents Can Defraud Seniors
Case Examples Of Financial Elder Abuse And Fraud
Protecting Older Loved Ones
We have written often about how seniors may be victims of financial elder abuse from different directions – by caregivers, trustees, financial advisers, and life insurance agents, among others. Obviously, all of these professions serve a useful purpose and the people who fill these positions are for the most part trustworthy and indeed invaluable. However, on some occasions, unscrupulous persons abuse their professions for personal gain especially targeting older people. Unscrupulous life insurance agents are among them. Some life insurance agents gents may exploit older consumers by selling them expensive and unsuitable insurance products, making unauthorized exchanges of policies, falsifying applications to qualify seniors for policies for which they are ineligible, or simply pocket a senior’s premiums and never issue any policy. Any wrongful taking of a senior’s money constitutes financial elder abuse by those doing the taking and anyone assisting them. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse). California broadly defines what constitutes financial elder or dependent adult abuse:
(a) “Financial abuse” of an elder or dependent adult occurs when a person or entity does any of the following:
(1) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(2) Assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult for a wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both.
(3) Takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined in Section 15610.70.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents injured seniors and their families in Los Angeles, throughout Southern California or anywhere else in California against any life insurance agents or brokers, financial advisors and others who prey upon seniors. We can be reached at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Examples of Recent Insurance Agent Fraud
Here are seven examples of insurance fraud cases that have occurred within the past few years:
- A former insurance agent was sentenced after pleading guilty to submitting false applications for older customers for additional insurance coverages without their knowledge and pocketing commissions of $86,000 from premiums the customers believed were for their existing coverages.
- An agent transferred $17,797 of paid premiums into his personal banking account and used the money to buy college sports tickets, pay bills and cover personal expenses.
- An agent was sentenced for embezzlement of $59,113 from various clients, mostly elders.
- After being stripped of insurance license for prior fraud, an individual was sentencing for subsequently stealing more than $38,000 in property insurance premium payments.
- An agent allegedly added himself as beneficiary on 14 life insurance policies held by older customers.
- An agent created false certificates of auto insurance and pocketed the $25,000 in paid premiums from unwitting consumers.
- An agent altered customer premium payment schedules and used amounts for unauthorized business and personal expenses.
Steps To Prevent Financial Elder Abuse
In several of these cases, the agent had a prior record of dishonesty or even had had their insurance license revoked. Before you transact any business with an insurance agent, check out the status of their insurance license on the California Department of Insurances license search tab. If the Department has issued any citations or taken any disciplinary actions against the agent you will see them there. If you are family members of a senior, stay involved in their business and financial affairs so you can help them avoid exploitation and fraud. A family may be able to catch financial elder abuse before it occurs by accompanying the senior at any business meetings and reviewing any paperwork before a senior is sold something worthless. Review a senior’s bank records routinely. This includes all records for all accounts including for savings and checking accounts, credit cards, investments accounts, loans and the like.
Ingrid M. Evans and Evans Law Firm, Inc. pursue all available remedies for the elderly victim against those persons or businesses responsible for their abuse, including getting their money back, undoing illegal contracts and getting awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for the costs of bringing suit. Ingrid represents seniors in Los Angeles and throughout California who are victims of financial elder abuse or fraud, including by insurance agents. Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in any of these reported cases.