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Avoiding Car Insurance Scams

Apr 24, 2008
It's bad enough to have been in an accident, but then to find out that you've been scammed? Your insurance rates go up, you may get points against your license, and, in the worst case, your insurance may be canceled and all of the car insurance quotes you receive afterward are astronomical. And you did nothing except get suckered. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think. However, if you know the ploys that con artists most commonly use, you can guard against car insurance scams.

One of the most common scams is where the scammer stages a rear end accident. This usually occurs when someone is seen dodging in and out of traffic. They leave people very little room to avoid them. When they find the person that they want to scam, they will get in front of them and slam on their brakes. This causes the person behind them to run into them as there is no where else that they can go. Your insurance will take a hit because most rear end cases are found to be the second car's fault.

Often the staged rear-ender will be paired with the fake medical claim scam. The driver either successfully cons an innocent doctor into believing they have suffered injuries, or pays off a medical accomplice to fake examinations and test results. In either case, your insurance pays for their treatment as well as their \"pain and suffering.\" This type of scam is especially problematic in litigious states. California car insurance is particularly hard-hit, for example.

There is another scam that occurs quite often known as the exaggeration scam. This has roots in a real accident. Before a repair claim and appraisal can be procured, the person will intentionally damage their car. There is little way to prove that some damage occurred outside of the accident.

The third most common car insurance scam is known as the helpful scam. This is when a person tells you that the path is clear, such as when you are changing lanes, but the truth is that it is not. Later, when the accident is investigated, the person who told you it was clear claims that they never said such a thing.

Another version of this scam is seen after the accident itself. People can refer you to various lawyers, doctors, or car repair shops, in order to make a nice sum of money. These businesses then raise their prices in order to make quite a bit off of your insurance policy.

Knowing these scams do exist, do you know how to avoid them? The most important thing that you can do to avoid a car insurance scam is to drive defensively. Being alert to your surroundings can save you a lot of trouble. Make sure to keep space between you and the cars around you and do not trust those who wave you into other lanes.

If there is an accident, make sure you document everything that happened. If the police are called, make sure you hear everyone's statement and get a copy of the report. Keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment to take pictures of any accident. Finally, if you have any suspicions about an accident, make sure to tell your insurance company about them; they are experts in detecting and stopping scammers.
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