Insurance scamming is an all-too-common occurrence on the roads and in homes today. There are entire rings of organized criminals dedicated to perfecting the art of insurance scams and are professionals at ripping off insurance companies. Insurance scams account for upwards of $30 billion in total losses to the insurance industry each year.
While most of the cost of this is born by the insurance companies, this cost affects every policy holder. When you are directly involved in these types of scams and accidents, you can end up paying a lot of money in deductible costs and policy increases.
One particular type of fraud is known as unsolicited repair provider scams. This particular type of fraud is on the rise in many areas of the country. It starts with an individual showing up on your doorstep claiming to be an authorized repair professional working in conjunction with your insurance company.
They offer to begin fixing your roof, siding, sink hole or other common damage right away, and offer an easy way of paying your homeowners insurance deductible directly to him (or her). He will continue to claim he is in communication with your insurance company and will offer to bill them for the remainder of the bill. Of course, he is not, and as soon as your deductible check clears, he’ll be gone.
The staged, or intentional car accident is another common insurance scam. Some are individuals who do their best to get you to intentionally rear-end them by intentionally pulling in front of you or braking suddenly. The “criminal wave” occurs when the individual waves you in to his lane, and then crashes into you, later denying the wave ever happened.
The third common car insurance scam is a highly organized scam involving doctors and lawyers, who reap the profits of filing fraudulent claims, the middlemen who organize car crashes and a few desperate volunteers who actually injure themselves to get a short-term paycheck. Too often, these scams have caused deaths as a result of their fraudulent practices.
Insurance scams hurt you both directly and indirectly. Fraudulent claims increase premiums for every policy holder every year. If you are the victim of one of these scams, your personal insurance can increase even higher, in addition to the out of pocket costs of your deduction and the loss of any no-claim bonus.
To avoid insurance scams regarding homeowners insurance, always get more than one estimate, and contact your insurance company before hiring a contractor to perform work. Get everything in writing including the cost, work, time schedules, guarantees, and other expectations. Before any individual begins work, ask to see the salesperson's driver's license and write down the license number and their vehicle's license plate number and never sign a contract with blanks.
If you think you might be the victim of auto insurance fraud. Always talk to the police as they may know of an insurance criminal ring on the area. The law requires all accidents to be reported, regardless the seriousness of the crash. Even for minor accidents, always call the police in front of the other party, if they are part of a scam, this may scare them into running, which will absolve you of guilt. It is also helpful to get a nearby witness who saw the accident and who is willing to make a statement on file.
Unfortunately, not everyone is to be trusted in today’s world. There are organized criminals and everyday citizens who are looking to make a profit off of others. If you suspect any suspicious activity, or you don’t feel right about a situation, investigate it to the furthest and do your due diligence to avoid being the victim of insurance fraud.
By Matt Reynolds - Google+