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Rising Car Arson And Insurance Fraud Costs Everyone

Aug 17, 2007
Due to the recent economic slowdown which is evidenced by every indicator (except the ones George Bush uses) car and SUV owners with payments they cannot afford are turning to arson to break their debts. This isn't new, however as car arson (or torching) and insurance fraud have been going on for decades.

The problem is that it is now seen in direct correlation to the economy. When the economy is positive, the level of insurance fraud tends to taper off. When the economy experiences a slowdown or negative growth (George Bush would probably call this a lull or some other four letter word) people find them selves with debts that they can no longer afford and are trapped in. As times get more desperate, the higher the number of people willing to burn or have their vehicles burned and risk getting caught.

During the last two years there has been a marked increase in car arson and insurance fraud in every state from California to North Carolina. Yes, there are cars that were really stolen, vandalized and then burned, but there is a marked difference. In cases of true theft, the thief is usually trying to remove anything that could link it back or identify themselves. In the case of a intentional burn in insurance fraud, the arsonist will attempt to make the car become rendered totaled (so far gone it cannot possibly be fixed). Usually, arson investigators will find accelerants were used like gas and other flammable liquids.

Due to this increase in car arson and insurance fraud cases, arson task forces have ben set up in many counties. In California they have even linked new and used car dealership personnel as instigators in many arson cases. Someone comes into the dealership overloaded with debt and wants to get out of a high car payment by trading in their car or vehicle. They find out they are "up side down", a term referring to the fact that they owe much more than their car is worth. The salesperson or similar employee, realizing money can be made, refers them to a local arsonist and the car is then burned. There have been numerous published cases like these and they are growing.

The problem here is four fold; people are being sold cars they can't afford, they aren't taking the proper responsibility for their debts, they aren't properly schooled on debt, and the result is an increase in insurance costs for everyone. These can all be fixed. In California numerous consumer protection laws have been passed which obligate the dealer to be more responsible, but more needs to be done like enforcing maximum debt ratios. There should be standard education in secondary schools on debt and money management. If we can offer classes on home economics (cooking), marketing, and UFO's, Madonna, etc... (just look at a Cal Tech class list), then we can offer or make mandatory a class on debt and money. According to many experts like Suze Orman and Anthony Robbins, debt, money, wealth, and happiness can all be learned and taught. A class on debt and money management should also be mandatory for all politicians (Could you imagine how great are economy would be if George Bush envisioned America's economy as his own and tried to cut the national debt instead of tripling it?) Debts are obligations we create and there are legal ways out of debt. Car arson and insurance fraud hurts everyone, not just those who commit it.
About the Author
David Maillie specializes in automotive safety products and information. He holds numerous patents and awards for his patented headlight cleaner and restorer. For more information, tips, safety and money saving products for your auto please visit mdwholesale
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