What happens if someone lies on their homeowners insurance application?
Homeowners who lie about where they live or their property value, and other lies can suffer consequences, from higher rates to insurance fraud charges. Lying on a home insurance application isn’t worth it to save a few dollars every month.
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UPDATED: May 15, 2022
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- Lies can be anything from denying owning a trampoline to undervaluing property
- While an application may be approved, insurers can find out the truth years later when a claim is filed
- Your insurer can do anything from increasing rates to filing a fraud charge
Lying on a homeowners insurance application carries a wide range of consequences. Consequences depend upon the severity of the lie. While some inaccuracies are actually unintentional mistakes, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be dropped or have higher rates if the insurance company discovers them.
Lying about something on your home insurance application is never a good idea, even if it appears to save you a few bucks at first. The cost of lying can far outweigh the temporary savings. Read on to see what happens if someone lies on their homeowners application.
Make it a point to always tell the truth on your insurance application. Besides, if your goal is simply to find the cheapest home insurance then just enter your ZIP above and start comparing free insurance quotes!
What are the consequences of lying on your homeowners insurance application?
Instead of shopping around for the best home insurance to find savings, some people may try to lie about home factors to cut costs. Several different outcomes may happen if people lie on their homeowners insurance applications. We’ve ranged them in severity below from least to most severe.
- Higher rates. A homeowner may leave something off their application to get lower rates, such as if they have a dog breed considered dangerous. If the insurer finds out when checking the application, the best-case scenario is it may simply raise the rates to reflect the higher risk.
- Denied application. An insurance company may outright deny your application if it finds out you lied. Any lie is grounds for denial, and you’ll be stuck without homeowners insurance.
- Denied claim or low claim payout. Most commonly, insurers discover lies when homeowners file a claim later. If you lied about the value of your home to get a lower rate, your claim might be denied. Even if the lie isn’t discovered, you’ll receive a claim amount for the undervalued amount of your home, resulting in financial losses.
- Canceled policy. If an insurer doesn’t find out about a lie right away but discovers it later, your insurer may immediately cancel your policy, leaving you stranded without insurance.
- Fraud charges. The worst-case scenario is that an insurance company will bring fraud charges against you. Even if your application was approved, if the insurance company later has proof that you lied on your application or filed a fraudulent claim, it can take legal action.
Lying on a home insurance application isn’t worth it to save a few dollars every month. It can cost homeowners a great deal of money. For example, a claim could be denied due to a previous lie, which means the homeowner won’t get any money at all for necessary repairs.
Even if a homeowners insurance application is approved, it doesn’t mean that you are in the clear. There could be repercussions later. Insurers are well versed in checking for discrepancies on applications and claims, as insurance fraud is common.
A canceled policy or multiple denied claims can make it harder to find home insurance elsewhere at a low price, ultimately costing the homeowner more time and money than they would have spent by being honest on their application.
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Common Lies on Homeowner Insurance Applications
There are a number of lies homeowners may put on insurance applications, from omitting that they own a trampoline to homeowners lying about where they live. Some of the most common lies homeowners tell are:
- Dog breeds. If homeowners own a dog breed that is deemed dangerous, such as a pit bull or rottweiler, they may lie about the dog’s breed to avoid higher rates on home insurance.
- Home renovations and additions. A homeowner may choose to lie and not tell their insurer about a new renovation or addition that raises the property value of their house. However, those additions won’t be insured.
- Pools. Pools are a hazard and do result in higher rates, which is why some homeowners will attempt to lie about having a pool on their property.
- Renting out property. A homeowner may not even be living at their property in order to rent it out, or they may rent out a room as an Airbnb and not inform their insurer.
- Trampolines. Trampolines are a liability risk, so homeowners may deny having a trampoline on their property.
- Value of the property. Homeowners may lie about the overall value of their property to receive lower rates.
Because insurers are familiar with these lies, there is a good chance that they will catch any misrepresentation on an application or during a later claim.
Final Thoughts Regarding Lying on a Homeowners Insurance Application
While some mistakes are just that — mistakes — some homeowners intentionally lie on their insurance applications. Homeowners lying about where they live can come with several repercussions. While there is a chance the insurer will never catch it, the more likely outcome is that the homeowner will face higher rates, denied claims, canceled insurance, or even fraud charges.
If you are tempted to omit something in order to receive cheaper rates, it is much better and less risky to simply shop around with different insurance companies instead. A rate comparison tool can help you find affordable home insurance options that are within your budget.
To find lower premium rates, ask about discounts and shop around with different insurance carriers. You can get free homeowners insurance quotes right now by entering your ZIP code below!