The festive season requires extra monies for Christmas gifts and elaborate celebrations. Price hikes intensify in January. School fees, household and vehicle insurance increases. This makes car insurance fraud attractive to certain types of individuals.
Car insurance fraud is illegal in all 50 states in America. Insurance companies do all they can to investigate and expose car insurance fraud. The following are some ways these scams are committed: –
1. “Owner-give-up”, i. e. vehicle dumping where an owner disposes of the vehicle by leaving it somewhere, dumping it into a lake or river, burying it or even selling it. A claim of theft is then submitted to the insurance company, thus an owner committing car insurance fraud.
When the car was sold before a report of theft is made, the fraudster will claim that the vehicle was stolen and thus obtain funds from the insurance company. Extra monies too from the sale of the original vehicle.
2. Sometimes mechanics use shoddy parts to repair a vehicle. They present an over-exaggerated parts and/or labour claim to insurers. Some resort to fabricating the extent of the vehicle damage.
3. Another car repair scam involves the replacement of airbags after an accident. The repairers stuff the compartments with objects with items such as beer cans or pack in peanuts to keep the sensors activated. California passed a protective law against such practices and the guilty party could face a year in prison plus a $5000 fine.
4. Fake traffic deaths or collisions staged by fraud rings may result in false or exaggerated claims. The group may consist of claims adjusters and dishonest officers who create bogus police reports to process claim application.
5. A well-known tactic swindlers use is to drive to a bustling junction or roundabout and apply brakes sharply causing a motorist to collide with the back of the fraudster’s vehicle. Accusations of fast driving or tail-gating is labelled as the reason for the collision.
Claimants may use a “recruited” doctor to diagnose whiplash or other soft-tissue injuries. These are difficult to dispute later.
Many people do not realise that loss indicator insurance agents have “red flags” they look for in possible scams:
– A claimant who is totally unflustered after submitting a large claim.
– Hand-written receipts for repairs on a covered item.
– An insured who increases auto insurance coverage shortly before submitting a claim.
Many insurers have Special Investigation Units. Employees who work in SIUs generally have backgrounds as detectives, police officers and medical personnel. Insurers are now using social media on suspicious claims. Perhaps the claimant who said his car suffered hail damage will be bragging about his deception on Facebook or Twitter.
Car insurance fraud is not just a problem for insurance companies. It is your problem too. According to FBI statistics, non-health insurance fraud costs $40 billion annually, which you cover by paying annual premiums $400 to $700 higher than they would be if there were no fraud at all.
In 1993 The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud was founded. This organisation collects information on insurance fraud. Through its unique work it empowers consumers to fight back. It helps fraud fighters to detect this crime. The Coalition deters more people from committing fraud. It has information, research and data services and insight to help the anti-fraud community.