Top 3 Insurance Scams And How To Avoid Them

Insurance scams are on the rise all over the globe. They are getting more and more frequent ever since the pandemic started back in 2020, costing many drivers millions of dollars in increased premiums.

Today we will take a look at the most common types of insurance scams on the road. We will also tell you how to take precautions and how not to fall victim to such scams.

Staged accidents

First type of an insurance scam – staged accidents – is a scam that actually encompasses a whole variety of different fraud attempts. Some of the most popular are:

  • Rear-end scams, such as the swoop and squat (two vehicles trapping a victim in a rear-end crash) and a panic stop (the culprit watches until their victim, who is behind, is distracted and slams on the brakes, causing the tailing car to rear-end them).
  • Sideswipe: the perpetrator of this kind of scam rushes to crash into the car that just drifted into their lane. They then claim innocence and submit a claim to their insurer.
  • Wave down: two drivers set up a trap in which a victim is given a wave or other sign that it’s clear to pull out of a parking lot or a side street onto a main street. At the same time,  the other scammer is waiting on the main street to drive their vehicle into the victim’s.

Towing scams

Towing scams are quite an interesting form of a scam. If you are unable to drive your car after an accident, a normal chain of events looks like this:

  • Police (or you) calls for a tow truck
  • Tow truck arrives 
  • Tow truck takes your car to a repair shop you selected

Where’s the scam, you may ask? The scam occurs when the tow truck comes even though neither you nor the police called for it. The tow truck driver then recommends taking your car to a specific shop. Later, you receive a hefty bill for this service – often reaching thousands of dollars.

Exaggerating the damage

This scam is often called the “enhanced damages” scam. In this type of scam, a real accident occurs, but the dishonest not-at-fault driver may take this as a chance to include a whole range of previous damages (particularly minor ones) to the vehicle into the repair bill associated with the real accident. Injuries can also be exaggerated – for example whiplash.

How to avoid car insurance scams?

While it’s hard to avoid being involved in an insurance fraud, there are ways to prove that it was indeed a scam, and avoid getting a hefty fine or an increase in your insurance premiums.

One way is to have a dash cam installed in your vehicle. We recommend getting a dual channel (with both front and rear camera), such as the 4K UHD DR900X-2CH Plus model,  to be able to monitor what happens in front and behind your car at all times. 

Thanks to our #CaughtOnBlackVue event where BlackVue dash cam users send us their footage, we have multiple examples of insurance fraud attempts, such as this one.

Other precautions you can take to avoid being involved in an insurance scam is to take detailed photos of the crash site and the vehicles. You should also never settle on the spot – always report the accident to your insurance company.

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