When you pay your monthly car insurance premium, you may wonder why its so high, and whether you are being scammed. In fact, however, the culprits are usually the people with the insurance, and not the companies providing it. Want to know why? Here are some of the most common auto insurance ripoffs:
Sometimes people will use their insurance to get a new car when their old one is just about to give out. If the driver gets into an accident just as the engine hits 150,000 miles, for example, you have to wonder.
Other dishonest drivers stage a low speed accident, and then claim thousands in medical bills, sometimes going so far as to claim permanent disability.
Taking this a step further, the scammer may even bring a few friends along for the accident, and then claim that these passengers also suffered injuries. The friends settle for a goodly sum, and then give the primary culprit a percentage of their take.
What may seem like a relatively minor scam, but can actually run into serious money is the person who, wanting to make sure that parts are replaced and not just repaired, will intentionally cause additional damage after the accident.
Finally, it may not be the owner of the car but the repair shop who devises the scam. Some shops will drastically inflate the costs of repairs, reasoning that the money isn’t really coming out of anyone’s pocket.
Insurance companies that provide auto coverage have a few defenses against scams. One is the use of deductables. Since the insurance holder has to pay out of pocket the full amount of the deductable before the company has to pay anything, this theoretically reduces the incentive to use insurance. Second, making a claim against your insurance can result in a significant increase in premiums, and this increase can be applied for years. Again, this discourages frivolous and fraudulent use. Finally, fraud is a criminal offense, and offenders can be prosecuted. Those convicted may face jail time.
In the end, though, the people who are hurt most by fraud are the innocent people who do nothing wrong. They are the ones who have to make up for fraud losses in the form of higher premiums. Because every auto insurance quote has some amount factored in for fraud.