It is very easy these days to find car insurance quotes online. As a consumer, you might have heard about insurance scams and how frequent scams in general are online. However, perhaps even more important are scams against the insurance companies themselves. Each year insurance companies have to deal with scams and insurance fraud that cost thousands of dollars. They pass these costs onto their customers, which means increased car insurance premiums for everyone. Additionally, some of these scams involve innocent bystanders. Here are some of the most common types of insurance fraud situations to occur:
Additional damage: this type of scam occurs after a car accident, which could have been a legitimate accident or could have been staged for the purposes of the scam. After the accident, the owner of the vehicle damages it even more, and then claims it happened during the accident. This is in an attempt to get the insurance company to pay out a higher amount.
Staged accidents: many insurance fraud scenarios involve staged accidents. Frequently these accidents are rear-end collisions – the scammer will quickly get into another car (usually an innocent party unaware of the scam) and then slam on his or her brakes. This usually causes the other car to rear-end the scammer, which in most states puts the innocent car automatically at fault. Sometimes the scammer will then fake injuries in an effort to get even more money.
Elaborate scams: sometimes people go to great lengths to scam an insurance company. In some cases, a person will wave a person into traffic and then crash into them, later denying ever waving them on. In other situations, a whole group of people is in on the scam. A person will cause you to get into a wreck, the body shop will quote incredibly high prices, or a doctor will agree with fake injuries.
Although there might be little you can to do avoid getting involved in one of these scams, education is key. Learning about these scams, how they happen, and the red flags to look for can help you avoid them, but more importantly fight them after the fact if you are unfortunate enough to get targeted. Again, many people seem to think these scams only hurt the insurance company, but this causes an increase in premiums for everyone and hurts many innocent people.
As far as being scammed online, the Internet is certainly full of scammers trying to get your dollar. However, online shopping remains the best way to get a good deal. Shopping online allows you to comparison-shop and find more quotes in a shorter period of time than traditional shopping. You can use this opportunity to really research the insurance company, available discounts, and find the best price. Reading reviews and shopping at legitimate companies greatly reduces your chances of getting scammed online.
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