Eighty billion dollars. That’s how much insurance fraud costs American consumers each year, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. This amount of money could buy new vehicles for 2.4 million people (which would cover every driver in Oklahoma.)
This alarming cost takes many forms. It might involve staging an accident to make false injury claims. Or it might include inflating damages to get a higher insurance payout.
Whatever scam is involved, the cost of the fraud ultimately gets passed along to consumers as they are forced to cover false claims, investigations, legal activities, and (potentially) higher insurance premiums.
To protect yourself from these costs, take the following precautions against insurance fraud.
Drive defensively: Never tailgate. Other drivers may take advantage of the situation to stage an accident.
Report accidents: Even if the damage is minor, always report any auto accident to the police. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report. This will provide proof if the other driver tries to make false claims down the line.
Document everything: Take pictures of the vehicles involved in an accident. These images will document what damage (or lack of damage) is present to prevent false claims or exaggerations. Additionally, record the details of the incident. This should include license plate numbers, contact info and driver’s license numbers of all drivers, and contact info for any witnesses.
Avoid scammers: If anyone appears at the scene of an accident and attempts to guide you to an attorney or a specific doctor, turn them away. This is a red flag that they are attempting insurance fraud. The same is true for doctors who insist that you file an injury claim even if you’re not hurt. If this is the case, you may need to find a new doctor.
Consult quickly: Regardless of fault, report auto accidents to your insurance company as soon as possible. We’re here to help you navigate any claims and protect you from insurance fraud.