Insurance Expert Recommends All Insurers Demand Restitution from Convicted Fraud Perpetrators

In the February 15, 2009 edition of Zalma’s Insurance Fraud Letter insurance coverage expert Barry Zalma reminds all insurers who are victims of the crime of insurance fraud that restitution is not intended to punish defendants or to provide a windfall for crime victims, it is designed to ensure that victims, to the greatest extent possible, are made whole for their losses.

Mr. Zalma explains that crime victims, even insurers who are victims of insurance fraud, have, among others, the following rights:

• The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
• The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
• The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release [on bail], plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
• The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
• The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law. . .
• The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.

ZIFL reports on a recent decision describing the Crime Victims' Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3771, and the rights it gives to insurers to recover restitution from those convicted in federal court of fraud against insurers, among others.

The issue also discusses the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud’s “Hall of Shame”, California’s $15 million settlement with a health insurer, the belated institution of the auto database, the Never Ending Story – Scruggs, commentary on reduction of employees at Arizona’s Fraud Bureau, Good News, Reports of Convictions From the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, other reports of Convictions of insurance fraud perpetrators, and details about insurance Books written by Barry Zalma.

ZIFL is available free on the Internet by clicking here, and as a text document by entering your e-mail address at the locks provided on the website www.zalma.com.

Mr. Zalma can be contacted at the law office of Barry Zalma, Inc, 4441 Sepulveda Boulevard, CULVER CITY CA 90230, 310-390-4455 or by e-mail at zalma@zalma.com.