Water damaged wood flooring in a home. Claims professionals also should look for certain red flags that may indicate what the insurance industry refers to as “soft fraud.” Photo: Leonard/Adobe Stock

Insurance fraud, like other crimes, continues to evolve as fraudsters become more creative. Arson, the crime of intentionally and illegally setting fire to a building or other structure, has long worsened claims activity for property insurers. Today, in many ways, water is the new fire.

Previously, property owners might have ignited a fire for a remodel, to get out of their mortgage, or to collect a financial windfall from their insurance claim. Fires, especially arson for profit, created a higher risk because controlling fire is very difficult. When someone sets a building on fire, there’s a strong possibility that a firefighter or an innocent bystander could be injured. Water damage is easier to control, plus the risk of injury is much lower.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All PropertyCasualty360.com news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including BenefitsPRO.com and ThinkAdvisor.com.

Already have an account?


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join PropertyCasualty360.com now!

  • Unlimited access to PropertyCasualty360.com - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including BenefitsPRO.com, ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2024 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.