Georgia has long had a criminal offense of insurance fraud. It is codified at OCGA 33-1-9. The legislature this session created a new subset of insurance fraud. This new offense involves the staging of a motor vehicle collision for the purpose of defrauding an insurance company.
This can be committed by intentionally causing a collision or attempting to cause a collision or by fabricating evidence of a collision that did not occur. It requires the intent to commit insurance fraud as set out in OCGA 33-1-9. This is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Making a fraudulent claim related to a staged collision is also a felony carrying up to 5 years in prions.
This can be raised to the offense of aggravated staging when the stated collision results in serious personal injury to another. In this case, the offense carries up to 10 years in prison.
It is somewhat unclear what was accomplished by pulling this species of insurance fraud out of the general insurance fraud statute to create three new offenses. After all, a staged collision or a created collision is insurance fraud, and insurance fraud is a felony that carries 2-10 years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both. So, the legislature created three new offenses that are punished the same or less than the current offense.
2019-2020 Georgia HB 353 / OCGA § 33-1-9.1
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