Revealed: The True Cost Of Car Insurance Scams

Being in an auto accident can be a horrific experience, regardless of whether you are seriously injured or not. But what if you realise afterwards that it wasn’t a genuine accident at all? And, in fact, it was a fraud perpetrated by accident insurance scammers? It’s a very real threat that happens every day – and it costs everybody.

Car Accident

According to a recent article from The Zebra, that cost could be as much as $200-300 every year for everyone with auto insurance. As with all things in the insurance world, it’s not the policy makers that suck up the costs – they are all passed down to the customer. In terms of accident fraud and fake insurance claims, the total cost to the nation’s economy runs into tens of billions of dollars.

How the scammers operate

There are many different scams that can happen when someone wants to file a fake auto insurance claim – and the victim can often be none the wiser. Firstly, there are the collisions themselves. A car will deliberately stop when it is hard for the car behind to react. The innocent driver cannot avoid ploughing into the back of the car in front, and the wheels are set in motion for the scam.

Claims will include demands for payments for damage to the car and personal injuries. There are a few different tactics used by the fraudsters. The ‘Swoop and Squat’ can involve two – or maybe more – cars driven by criminals, and one innocent party. One car will position itself in front of the victim while the second will cut off the first fraudsters car. A third might box off the victim’s car, leaving it no room for maneuver in the event of the inevitable crash. The result is a mini pile up that ends up with the victim crashing into the car in front.

There are other maneuvers that scammers use that you should look into. InsuranceFraud.org have some great guides. Please take some time to understand the different tactics that the insurance fraudsters use – it may come in handy one day.

How to avoid being scammed

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to avoid being a victim – if you are targeted by criminals. However, there are a few things to do. First of all, don’t tailgate when you drive on a day-to-day basis. If you do, it will increase your risk of becoming a target. Fraudsters look out for flawed drivers, and it is only in rare cases that people who drive safely end up as a victim.

You should also call the police. As any good car accident lawyer will tell you, even if there is little damage, a police report could be vital in protecting you from a future claim. It is not uncommon that fraudsters will do more damage to the car themselves, or claim there were more people in the vehicle. That initial police report could save you a long and complicated legal battle, so always call the police.

Finally, always make sure that you collect as much evidence as possible after the accident. Take photos, write down details and document everything you can. If there are bogus claims after the event, you can often stop them in their tracks by providing robust evidence. Most of all, however, you can avoid scams by being a safer and more alert driver.

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