It’s something most of us have never considered, because why would anyone intentionally cause or want to be in a car crash? However, auto insurance scams are real and can be instigated by the most unlikely of suspects. Here is a quick look at how to protect yourself from being scammed.
The Most Common Types Of Auto Insurance Scams
There are many types of auto scams, some of them being:
- Staging an automobile accident, such as someone cutting you off then slamming on their brakes so that you rear-end them.
- Someone flagging you to stop and help so that they can position you for a car accident.
- Staging accidents to guide unsuspecting victims to physicians or attorneys. Yes, sometimes the physician or attorney is the one who staged the accident.
- Exaggerating claims for vehicle damage or exaggerating injuries with the intention of getting a larger payout.
- Changing the claim after it’s been filed to state that the damages are more severe than they really are.
This article will focus mainly on what you should be aware of as a driver to avoid being a victim of an auto insurance fraud.
How Drivers Can Protect Themselves From These Types Of Auto Fraud
Even if your insurance company pays, a fraudulent claim will make a dent in your driving record and is likely to increase your insurance. Auto accident insurance fraud is something you can take a proactive approach to. Note – unfortunately you can’t completely eliminate the risk of being a victim of fraud, but you can reduce the odds.
Take the name and contact information of as many witnesses as you can. Even if you have a few who were right there, get the info of people a bit farther away to decrease the odds of them being part of a scam. If anyone happened to be recording video that captured some or all of the accident, have them email it to you on the spot.
Be Mindful Of Your Surroundings
Most fraudulent accidents are minor. You are sure to be shaken up a bit but try as best as you can to be aware of your surroundings. By all means, minor accidents can cause pain and injury, but notice if the other driver appears to be exaggerating their injuries. Be mindful if a witness seems overly eager to help. Finally, be leery of any doctors or lawyers who “just happened to be there” or anyone providing you with the business card of a doctor or lawyer. If you go to a doctor or physician suggested to you on-site and anything feels off, or they want to file exaggerated claims for injury or damages find a new physician or attorney.
Call The Police
Even if there is only minor damage and no one is hurt, call the police to file an accident report. While it’s not a requirement in every state or country, this alone will greatly reduce your likelihood of being a victim of fraud, as scammers are less likely to pursue fraud if the police are involved. So, be cautious if the other driver doesn’t want you to call the police and insist on doing so.
Take Photos And Get Your Dashcam Footage
Your smartphone can take photos and videos so utilize it to take close-up shots of damages, and a video of the scene of the accident. Ideally, you want to take photos and videos before the vehicles are moved. However, safety may require vehicles to be moved. This is one of the many reasons to consider investing in the BlackVue dashcam. This sleek and discreet dashcam will provide a crystal-clear 4 K UHD video of your vehicle before, during, and after the accident. No need to let the other driver know you’re recording, but be sure to let your insurance company know, and your attorney if one is required. The BlackVue DR900S-2CH will provide the evidence in case anything about the incident is unclear. Of course, you should still take photos and videos with your phone for a 360-degree view, but you will also have your dashcam to view the accident as it occurs. Additionally, when you get home, write down or record a voice memo of everything you can recall.
Always Report The Accident To Your Insurance Company
Never make a deal with someone to leave your insurance companies out of it, no matter how minor the damage. Always report the accident, even if the other driver admitted fault or if the other driver initially states they aren’t going to file a claim. If you don’t report the accident in a timely manner, it can further complicate an already stressful situation. If you delay your report, your insurance company could get unnecessarily suspicious towards you. In the worst case, imaging if the other party, who agreed not to get their insurance company involved, actually contact their insurance. You might have a harder time explaining yourself, then.
Now you know what to keep your eye out for if you or a loved one are in a car accident. Here’s to safe and scam-free driving!
Disclaimer: the content of this article is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, some of the information contained in this article may not apply to your country or jurisdiction, so use this material at your own discretion.