The Random House Webster’s College Dictionary 1996 defines arson as “the malicious burning of another’s property or sometimes one’s own property as in an attempt to collect insurance.” The same source defines fraud as “deceit or trickery perpetuated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.” Arson is crime that is generally categorized as a felony. The civil and criminal aspects of the offense are a major financial security risk for insurance companies.
In U.S. criminal law means, motive and opportunity are three points that have to be addressed in a criminal proceeding. Means is the ability to commit the crime. Motive is the reason to commit the crime and opportunity is the chance to commit the crime. Just to be conservative quoted herein is a defensive website that states that, “there are 500,000 structure fires a year; 75,000 of them are labeled suspicious … the accuracy of fire investigators is at best 80 percent.” That means, at the high end, up to 60,000 fires may be related to arson. See http://truthinjustice.org/arson.htm.