Over the last two years, the number of questionable insurance claims filed has increased 24 percent1. With fraud on the rise, it can be important to learn about fraud protection. Get to know what to look for and what you can do to help protect yourself and your family from fraud.
Driving defensively can help you prevent an accident and protect yourself from fraud. There are many ways criminals victimize unsuspecting drivers. Watch out for the schemes listed below, especially if you drive a newer vehicle or live in a state with no-fault and/or personal injury protection laws.
- Drive down—As you try to merge into traffic, another driver yields, waving you on. As you merge, the driver intentionally collides with you and then denies offering you the right-of-way to the police.
- Swoop and squat—A vehicle suddenly swoops in front of yours and jams on the brakes, causing a collision. Despite the low speed, the passengers in the other car claim to have serious back or neck injuries.
- Panic stop—Stopped in the same lane of traffic, another car is directly ahead of yours. That car moves forward then abruptly stops, forcing you into a collision.
- Left-turn sideswipe—As you turn left at an intersection with two turn lanes, another car crosses the centerline and intentionally sideswipes your car.
There are a few ways you can help protect yourself from home insurance fraud. If you live in an area of the country that’s often affected by severe weather events, be especially mindful of home repair schemes. The scenarios below are just two examples of home insurance fraud that you should know.
- Shady contractors
—After heavy storms or hail, there are contractors who may offer to further damage the home before the claims adjuster arrives.
- Staged break-ins—A homeowner has a partner rob her home, but keep the belongings in a storage facility until the insurance claim is approved.
- Read and understand your insurance policies. Know exactly what is and is not covered.
- Only purchase insurance from a licensed agent.
- If your home is damaged by severe weather, avoid contractors who offer to “enhance” the damage to pad your claim.
- Before you purchase a boat, ensure that its hull identification number (HIN) exactly matches the HIN listed on the registration and title.
After a car accident, these tips can help you avoid situations that could lead to insurance fraud:
- Exchange contact information with all the passengers. Get the driver’s license number, license plate number, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Take pictures of all damage to both cars. This will make it harder for the other driver to add damage later and inflate their claim.
- Avoid speaking to other people at the scene about the facts of the accident. Do not admit fault or place blame, as you might not be aware of all circumstances involved in causing the accident at this time.
- Be cautious of people who immediately appear at the accident scene and recommend a particular mechanic, doctor or attorney.
- Be wary of a physician who suggests you file a personal injury claim after an accident, even if you are not hurt.
- Obtain detailed billing information and receipts for all medical services and car repairs.