YOU ASK:

How can I protect myself from fraudulent insurance claims?

WE ANSWER:

Everybody can buy auto insurance but nobody is insured against car insurance fraud. It can happen to even the most vigilant drivers and cost you not only your savings, but also your life. This is why insurance fraud needs to be taken very seriously, and this can start with being aware of the problem.

Kinds of Fraudulent Auto Insurance Claims

Fraudulent insurance claims can range from arson to staged car accidents and faked injuries. In order to avoid being victim of a fraudulent car insurance claim, you need to know the characteristics of auto insurance scams. Here are the most common examples of such:

  • Set-up rear end crashes - a scam driver deliberately stops in front of you by slamming on the brakes in order to make you crash the back of their car. This way it will look like it is your fault and your insurance company will have to pay for damage to the scam driver's vehicle. In addition to this, your policy might have to pay for bodily injury that the scam driver might fake.
  • Aggravate damage - After an accident, scam drivers often try and cause more damage to their automobile and say it has been caused by the other driver, in order to collect even more in physical damage compensation.
  • Scam help - Always beware of people trying to help you in traffic or offering to give you the contacts of a garage or a good doctor. You might be part of an organized group of fraudulent players, where the adviser, the repair shop and the physician play together to get more money from your policy.

What to Do to Avoid Auto Insurance Fraud

There isn't much that can be done if somebody has decided to implicate you in a car insurance scam. But you can at least be informed and prepared, because it can happen anywhere, at any time. Here are a few pieces of advice you should follow:

  • Keep your eyes peeled for people acting suspiciously around you or following you.
  • Don't wait for other drivers to help you by giving you right of way, always rely on your own judgement, instead.
  • Ensure that there is enough room in front of your car when stopping.
  • If you are involved in a crash, take photos of the damages to the other car. Record everything you can remember from the accident on the spot.
  • Do tell your insurer you feel there has been something suspicious at the time of the accident.
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