If you have been involved in an auto accident that just didn’t feel right, it might not have been an accident at all. Criminals are devising elaborate staged vehicle accidents. Their goal is to collect from insurers for fake injuries. This problem has risen to epidemic proportions and costs policyholders and insurers billions of dollars annually.
Fraud can occur from the time of application by misrepresenting facts, inflating claims to cover deductibles in a repair bill or submission of claims for injuries or damages that never occurred.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, staged accidents frequently follow one of the following scenarios:
Swoop and Squat: The squat car positions itself in front of the victim’s car. The swoop car speeds up and cuts off the squat car. The squat car hits the brakes, and the victim’s car rear-ends the squat car. The swoop car races off never to be seen again.
Panic Stop: Usually, an older vehicle filled with passengers maneuvers in front of the victim’s car. A backseat passenger watches for the victim driver to be distracted and alerts the criminal driver to slam on the brakes, causing the innocent driver to rear-end the criminal’s vehicle resulting in injuries claimed by all the occupants.
Drive Down: This scenario involves the victim merging into traffic after being motioned to do so by the criminal. The criminal speeds up and causes a collision. The criminal denies motioning the victim to merge and claims injury.
Keep a pencil and paper in your glove box to record:
The names and addresses of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident
License plate numbers
Make and model of each car
Driver’s license numbers
Names and addresses of witnesses
Names and badge numbers of police officers or other emergency personnel
According to NICB, fraudulent auto accidents occur more frequently in urban areas where there are a greater number of vehicles, and in wealthy communities where drivers are perceived to have better insurance coverage. Criminals tend to prey on women or seniors driving alone, as they tend to be less confrontational.
If you have been involved in an accident and suspect fraud, alert the police on the scene and contact our office with accident details, regardless of fault.
At Hubbard Insurance Agency, we consider ourselves the friendliest insurance agents on the planet. You can contact us by email, phone or by filling out our online form. We will make the process easy for you, and we care!