When insurance agents suspect fraudulent actions such as arson, falsified workers compensation claims, staged accidents or medical concerns, they request that a fraud investigator review the claim. Insurance fraud varies from overstatements to fraud rings that include many claimants and support dishonest doctors, lawyers and insurance personnel. If this sounds like an intriguing career, read on to learn how to become an insurance fraud investigator.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Learn more about the career of an insurance fraud investigator by visiting your local library or school career centre and/or looking online for such information as the "U.S. Occupational Handbook." If possible, make an appointment with an investigator and find out more about the job right from the source. You will want to make sure that you have the education, skills and interests that fit the role.
Keep in mind that this position often includes considerable time tracking down information on the computer. Most investigators are also trained to perform physical surveillance, such as watching a subject's home from an inconspicuous location or a vehicle. You would most likely use photographic and video equipment, binoculars and mobile phones. This can be quite time consuming and mean spending time alone at odd hours.
Talk with several larger insurance companies about educational needs for this position. Although there are no specific requirements, at least a high school degree is needed and an Associate's or Bachelor's degree is recommended. Without a college degree, you will most likely have to start at an entry-level, such as a claims adjuster, and work your way up.
Consider becoming certified as an insurance fraud investigator. Several organisations offer this certification. You will be better equipped to handle your responsibilities and more experienced for available positions. You can also take courses in insurance fraud investigation online.
Tips and warnings
- If you are taking courses online, be careful that you sign up with a reputable company. Check its credentials, since there are many educational organisations that are not reputable.