Making false insurance claims is a sure-fire way of getting that extra cash, this fact evident in the estimated 22,000 false claims filed annually to bilk money out of insurance companies. The figure is continuously rising as it is very difficult to catch the perpetrators who made it appear that such claims are legit. The situation is even made worse by drivers who are not aware of these insurance frauds and therefore are ill prepared to avoid them or confront the situation when it happens.
The most common car insurance crime is the ‘panic stop’ scam. This scam is perpetrated by a driver who suddenly brakes in front of you for no reason at all, making your crash into the rear of his car. The driver of the damaged car, the one who slammed his brakes, will then file for insurance claims, claiming damages for his vehicle as well as injuries which more often than not are just faked. You cannot argue that it was his fault because he slammed his brakes for it is your responsibility to keep a reasonable distance from the car in front of you. The best defense against this insurance scam is always to keep a considerable distance from the car in front of you so that even if he brakes suddenly, you still have time to avoid him.
Another common scam is ‘helpful driver’ technique. This driver will signal you to go ahead when you are making an attempt to merge into busy traffic. As you speed up a little bit to merge into traffic, this helpful driver will move forward also and purposely collide with you, denying later that he ever made that signal for you to proceed. Just like in the first method, this driver will be filing for insurance claims, with you being at fault.
As a corollary to the above-mentioned scams, the drivers of the damaged vehicles can go away from the scene of the accident and inflict further damage to their vehicles so they can collect more money from the insurance companies. As a precaution, therefore, when involved in a vehicular collision, you should take pictures of the damages on the cars involved. Since most people now have cell phones with camera, pictures of the damages on a vehicle could easily be taken. When driver of the other vehicle noticed that you took pictures of the damages on his car, he will think twice before he decides to put more damages on his vehicle.
Drivers who claim injury damages usually try to pad their claim by making it appear that there are other persons in the vehicle during the time of the collision when in fact he was driving alone. After a collision, observe how the driver behaves and take note if he looks like he was injured. Note also the number of persons in the vehicle. If you see that the driver or anybody else in the vehicle appeared to be injured, you better call the police or emergency service to prevent them from exaggerating their injuries.
Most importantly, get a car insurance from a reputable company. A good, reputable car insurance company will help you protect yourself from insurance fraud.
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