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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ensure that you are not the victim of intentional accident fraud

Avoid self-implication in fraudulent accidents
Fraudulent insurance claims involve staged accidents
Anyone who is aware that the costs of average insurance premiums have risen exponentially over the last decade will be interested to realize that much of this cost increase is in fact due to rising insurance fraud by criminal motorists. 

These fraudulent drivers are spiking insurance premiums for the responsible drivers out there by causing intentional “accidents”, submitting false insurance claims, fleeing from the sites of real accidents which result in claims, and generally wreaking havoc in the auto insurance world. 

Make sure you do your part to counteract this negativity in the universe of the safe and honest driver by being aware of insurance scams and playing it safe when it comes to incidents that occur on the road. Here are some things to watch out for when dealing with motor vehicle collisions and the resulting interactions that you will have with the other party, your insurance company, and that of the other driver involved in the accident.

What to expect from insurance fraud criminals

There are a slew of tactics that insurance fraud criminals are making use of when out of the motorway trying to score a cheque through dishonest means. Some drivers hoping for a quick cash cut from their insurance company will intentionally engage in non-serious accidents that cause major damage to their car, but keep themselves relatively safe. Motorists have reduced themselves to any tactic from rear ending safe drivers to get an easy insurance claim to purposefully cutting other drivers off and blaming the accident on the other party. 

Some vehicle owners will abandon their own car and then claim it as stolen to recoup the money from their insurer, or even make a fraudulent hit and run claim for damage to their vehicle that they did themselves. These hit and run claims are notoriously extremely difficult to disprove, unless there is a video or security camera in the area that records the events leading up to the damaged vehicle.

Another way in which drivers are squeezing more out of their insurance policies than they ought to is by claiming false injuries from relatively minor accidents. Somewhat intangible conditions such as whiplash, mental and emotional trauma, and chiropractic or back problems may be difficult to prove one way or another as to whether they were a result of a motor accident or not.

How to avoid being involved with insurance fraud yourself

There are several steps you can take to ensure that you are not involved with insurance fraud even if you are faced with dealing with a driver who is obviously trying to engage in something of the sort. First, when you are at the scene of the accident that has just occurred, make certain that you do not say, do, or write anything to implicate yourself as guilty or not guilty. This action must be saved for the insurance companies (or solicitors, in high stakes cases) to deal with, after hearing the evidence of appropriate witnesses. 

There is no reason to do anything other than comprehensively exchange insurance information with the other party(s) involved when at the scene of the accident. Otherwise, you risk being put at fault by a driver who is attempting insurance fraud at your expense, even when the crash or collision was clearly the fault of the other driver or was even intentionally planned in order to gain funds. Say nothing and do nothing, other than collecting insurance information and ringing the police in, if somebody has been physically injured, and you will avoid opening yourself up to being taken advantage of by a criminal. 

Image license: Damnsoft 09, CC BY 3.0, GFDL