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Car Insurance Accident Scams

Today, insurance companies all across the country are paying millions to defend themselves against car scams where people stage an accident in the hope to making some gains through insurance claims. How do these scams affect you? Apart from any possible deaths that could occur from a planned scam gone wrong, it is not the insurance companies who pay the consequences of these malicious scams. It is in fact the innocent and honest citizens who end up paying higher premiums so insurance companies could cut their losses.

How can you help protect yourself and auto insurance providers from these scams? You should learn how to prevent getting in the middle of these scams and should contact your insurance if you feel you could be scammed or are a witness to a scam. You could potentially be rewarded for providing this information.

Here are some methods used by scammers today to cheat auto insurance providers and create false claims.

Paper Accident
This occurs when the scammer get those in the auto repair to get involved and report an accident that never happened in reality. Normally lawyers, doctors and insurance agents who are dishonest would be involved when this accident is filed on paper. Normally the claim would not exceed $1000 to avoid raising any red flag where insurance companies would feel the need to conduct an investigation.

Hit & Run
This occurs when the criminal reports a fake hit and run and try get claims from their insurance policy.

Swoop & Squat
This happens when the scammer suddenly rushes in from of the car and drastically slows down or stops suddenly. There is an accomplice vehicle that does not allow the trapped vehicle from moving away to prevent an accident. The passengers in the squat car then send in claim reports for their injuries which are then accompanied by reports from doctors and chiropractors who are also involved in the scam.

Sideswipe
This usually happens where there are many lanes to turn from at a crossing. The culprit would be taking a left turn on one of the many lanes till another car comes into the lane they are at. At this point, the criminal would speed up to create a collision.

T-bone
This type of scam usually takes place when there are no hostile witnesses around. The scammer would purposely stay at an intersection and ram into a passing car. Then fake witnesses would report to the police that the passing car broke the law by running a red light or stop sign.

Wave
This usually takes place when there is high traffic and a merge is taking place. The scammer sends a false indication to the victim to offer him right of way. When they go ahead and start merge, the scammer speeds up and collides. When the police arrive, they would deny any claims that they offered the victim the right of way.

Suspicious Helper
This would occur after a real un-staged accident. A bystander could approach you and offer contact details to an auto repair, lawyer or doctor. They would then try to appearing scheming by covering up repair cost, not providing proper treatment or insist that you sue the insurance company.

Most of these scams are done by professionals who have rehearsed their scams and ensured that there are no loopholes before acting on them. That does not mean you cannot avoid becoming a victim. Here are some measures you could take to prevent becoming a victim of auto scams.

Always keep a disposable camera, paper and pen handy. After an accident has occurred, take many pictures of every car and passenger involved in the accident. Write down as much information about everybody involved. These evidences would come in handy to expose their lies and intend to scam and not allow them to exaggerate the impacts and damage caused by the accident.

If you think the whole accident is an act, then do get good details to expose them

These are the details you should note down during an accident
- License, Vehicle registration and Car Insurance details of drivers involved
- Head count of passengers in the car and their contact details.
- Note if they were all wearing seat belts
- Notice if they only act injured when the police arrives at the scene
- Get the contact details of all those who witnessed the accident
- Immediately call the police if you feel the accident is a scam

You may wonder why you need to assist insurance companies in catching these criminals when they didn’t affect you directly. You should as it is honest people like you who pay the consequences of these criminal acts as you bear the burden when these costs translate to higher insurance premiums.

How these auto scams affect you?

Personal Driving Record Tarnished
These staged accidents could create a black mark on your otherwise clean driving record and could affect your ability to stay insured in future. They would still consider you a higher risk on the roads and that would adversely impact your insurance plans. This would occur whether the accident was staged or not.

Potential Deaths and Real Injuries
If these fake accidents go wrong, they could lead to serious injury or death to anyone involved-perpetrator or victim.

Increased Premiums
The auto insurance of all members increase as insurance providers end up passing down the cost of settling this fake accident to all their members to make up for their losses.

Tell us your story!
We hope that this article has been useful to you. If you have been involved in a scam, please feel free to share it with us. We may even post in on our website as a warning to others, preventing more such scams from occurring. Please do email us so we could help as a society to prevent such malicious and dangerous crimes from happening to other innocent citizens.

 

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