Does false proof of insurance in a private deal violate the law?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does false proof of insurance in a private deal violate the law?

I recently rented out some property to an acquaintance. We signed an agreement together with the rental amount and such. As part of the agreement he was to provide proof of insurance that listed my property as the certificate holder and as additional insured. He produced a document which seemed legitimate at the time. I recently learned that this proof of insurance is fake and that he doesn’t have insurance at all. Nothing has happened that would need insurance but now I’m

very upset. He’s asked me not to sue him or do anything, we’re just going to part ways. He is worried that forging a proof of general liability insurance could get him sent to jail, so has asked me not to purse the matter. Nothing happened that would need an insurance claim, so I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, and I don’t want to get him sent to jail, but I also feel that I need to do something. What are my options here? Did he actually break the law or just violate a

private agreement?

Asked on September 12, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

He certainly violated a private agreement, so if you did suffer any losses due to  not having insurance, you'd be able to sue and recover them.
Technically, he committed a crime, since forging documents is a crime, as is fraud--lying to someone about something important which causes them to lose, give, etc. money. But if there's no harm done, then it is very difficult, if not impossible, to see the authorities caring or taking any action, even if there made aware of it, unless your acquintenance has a long criminal history and this would simply provide a way for them to punish him (the way Al Capone was jailed for tax evasion, not for his actual mob activities). Also, the authorities will not even know in the first place unless you were to contact the police. Assuming you and he part ways in a way acceptable to you, there is no need for you to bring to the authorities or for there to be any action against him.

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