No one wants to be involved in a car crash, right? Well in some cases, people just might. In rare cases, car accidents are planned, coordinated efforts, and innocent drivers become pawns in an auto insurance scam.
Here are some of the most common auto insurance scams and how to avoid them.
This is the most common type of insurance claim scam and one of the most dangerous. The scammer will suddenly stop in front of an unsuspecting driver or even swoop in front of the victim, causing them to collide with the rear of the scammer’s car. The blame is usually put on the rear driver (or rather, the victim of the scam). The scammer will sometimes even claim for injury too (even though there’s often no injury to speak of).
To avoid this, never follow other cars too closely, allowing plenty of room to stop quickly. It’s also a good idea to be aware of traffic ahead of the immediate car, so you can anticipate the need to slow down.
The Bad Civilian
Let’s say you’ve already been involved in a car accident and you’re now standing on the side of the road waiting for the police, or maybe even a tow truck. A scammer may approach you posing as a third party insurance official or consultant in order to convince you to use the services of a particular health clinic or panel beater. The chances of you knowing about the mentioned clinic or panel beater are very slim (as they’re most likely fraudulent).
To avoid this, make sure you conduct all of the necessary business with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company, and don’t give out your information to any extra parties.
The Finjury Claim (Fake Injury)
Although this can happen anywhere, our focus is specifically on car accidents. If you find yourself in a fender-bender and the occupant(s) of the other car claims for whiplash or related injuries, you need to tread carefully. If the scammer driver seeks medical attention, they’ll likely file a claim with your insurance company to cover the expense, even if it’s bogus.
Whiplash is extremely hard to prove via X-ray so you may find that these con artists will be using shady doctors to corroborate their injury report.
A red alert for this type of scam is when the driver acts and looks fine until the police show up, and then starts complaining about their ‘finjury’.
To avoid this, file a police report, even for a minor accident. If the official record notes just a scratch or minor damage, it’ll be far less likely that your insurance company will believe the other driver suffered significant injuries.
Being rear-ended or rear-ending someone is not the only way to get scammed out there. Some cases have been reported where a ‘friendly’ driver waves to you to give you the right of way and then rams into your car. They’ll then deny having given you permission, leaving you liable.
The best way to avoid this type of trouble is to be alert and vigilant, always staying inside your lane and following ‘right of way’ procedures.
All these scams have happened and you could be the next victim. So make sure your insurance is up to date and that you’ve chosen the best car insurance quote.