Fraudulent claims cause higher car insurance premiums for all drivers

AAA World Article

You may know someone who’s been the victim of car insurance fraud, or seen a story about it on the news. Even if you've had no personal encounter with insurance fraud, it has directly affected your wallet, since fraudulent claims cause higher premiums from insurance companies for all drivers.

There are incidental instances of insurance fraud (not premeditated acts) that include lying on forms or changing facts on accident reports. But let’s focus on hard auto insurance fraud (premeditated acts) including staged car accidents and false auto theft reports—normally prosecuted as felonies.

You may think that, short of a sting operation, there is little you can do to help prevent or protect against fraud. Not so! If you are involved in or witness an accident or suspicious activity, you can be the fly in the ointment for scammers just by following these simple tips:

  • Report any accident or suspicious activity you witness to the authorities. 
  • If you witness an accident and suspect it was staged, report this to the police. If you’re uncomfortable doing this in front of the parties involved, ask the policer officer to contact you later that day to take your statement.
  • If you’re involved in an accident, keep accurate records of the event, including the contact information of the other party and any witnesses at the scene.
  • If involved in an accident, be mindful of whom you share your contact and insurance information with. If a police officer responds, follow their lead. If no police officer is on the scene, only share your name and insurance information with the other driver.
  • If you have to go to the hospital for treatment or evaluation, and someone approaches you about your injuries, contact your insurance agent immediately.
  • Never give testimony or personal information to someone who contacts you by phone or who comes to your home unless you are certain they are affiliated with one of the insurance providers involved in the accident.