Insurance Fraud costs more than $17 billion a year. Who pays for insurance fraud? We all do through higher insurance premiums.
Insurance fraud comes in several different forms.
Some to look out for include:
Swoop and Squat – The vehicle in front of you suddenly stops for no apparent reason, causing you to be responsible for a rear end collision. You and your insurance company could be a victim of a staged accident.
Slip and Fall – You are notified by an attorney that his client was injured on your property and you are to contact your insurance company. You have no knowledge of the accident and don’t know the claimant. Small businesses are usually targeted in these cases. Home owners can also be targets.
Risky Repairs – Your vehicle is damaged in a collision or because of vandalism. Don’t be fooled by repair shops that “bury” your deductible or inflate the damage estimate. You may end up with repairs not properly performed or covered up until they are discovered by insurance company inspections.
These are just some of the insurance frauds you as a consumer need to guard yourself against. If you find yourself involved in an accident of any kind, here are some steps you should take:
- If you are involved in an accident, always report it to the authorities for a record to be established.
- Be sure to contact your insurance agent.
- Make sure you get information from the other individuals involved in the accident.
- Information such as name, address, driver’s license number and insurance card.
- Be sure you keep accurate records of the accident, names of individuals involved and insurance representatives.
Remember, the cost of fraud not only affects the insurance companies. It affects the insurance consumers through higher insurance premiums charged to cover the cost of fraudulent claims. If you suspect someone is committing insurance fraud, you can call 1-800-835-6422 to make an anonymous report.
Information provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.