Auto Insurance Frauds are Surprisingly Common
The California Department of Insurance continues its effort to stamp out auto insurance frauds. During the first week of November, local district attorneys and local law enforcement served arrest warrants against 195 people for auto insurance frauds.
These people have been charged with 236 felonies and 43 misdemeanors.
“Unfortunately, this type of insurance crime is surprisingly common,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
The Typical Auto Insurance Fraud
Over the last three years the California Department of Insurance has been successful in investigating all types of insurance crimes. There has been an increasing number of arrests made for individuals who have committed auto insurance frauds. Most cases involve drivers that are uninsured or under-insured. They purchase or add coverage after a crash occurred. They then file a claim in an attempt to get the insurer to cover the damage.
The Cost of Auto Insurance Fraud
According to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. “It is an expensive drain on the state’s economy that totals into billions of dollars annually in California. The cost of these scams is passed along to consumers through higher rates and premiums – everyone pays for insurance fraud.”
On average, every customer pay $200 extra each year because of auto insurance frauds.
Bringing down the number of frauds will cut insurance premiums and benefit the average customer.
Could You Become a Victim of a Scam?
There are auto insurance fraud rings that stage accidents in which you can become an unwillingly victim.
You should always drive defensively. Leave enough space between yourself and the car ahead. If traffic appears to be moving freely and the car ahead suddenly stops with no explanation or cut in front of you, it is a warning signal. The driver may be trying to stage a collision.
With an expensive car you are more likely to be targeted. Simply because you are more likely to have a good insurance.
If you believe you have been involved in a staged crash, insist on filing a police report! Get the names and contact information for everyone involved – this includes the driver, passengers and witnesses. Take photos.
After the crash, contact your insurance company and the Department of Insurance. Give them all information, including your photos.
Your Auto Insurance
Make sure you are covered and learn more about how to shop for the best auto insurance in California:
- Visit www.insurance.ca.gov for tips about shopping for automobile insurance or call our consumer hotline at 800-927-4357.
- Always check the license status of an agent or broker before purchasing insurance. .
- Find out if you qualify for California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance by calling 866-602-8861 or visit www.mylowcostauto.com.