Insurance fraud is a serious issue that many industries struggle to deal with. Many drivers and pedestrians will ‘work the system’ to try to keep their payments low or get a higher settlement after an accident. Auto insurance fraud could significantly raise your premium and affect your driving record if it’s not caught. If you suspect that fraud is involved in an accident, you can report it to the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Insurance Fraud Division or the insurance company involved.
How to Identify Auto Insurance Fraud
There are many ways that drivers and even insurance adjusters may use fraud for their own gain. Knowing the signs of insurance fraud can help you open a full investigation and save your own insurance policy. Here are just some of the cases of auto insurance fraud to keep an eye out for.
Many drivers or pedestrians will stage an accident to help them receive high compensation. There are several different ways to stage an accident, but most of them require some kind of collaboration or set-up. Here are some signs to look out for that could indicate a staged accident.
- Vehicles driving next to you and maintaining the same speed
- Drivers waving you through, especially when they have the right of way
- Vehicles that are constantly changing speeds
- Drivers who are looking into other cars (often checking for signs of distracted driving)
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to avoid driving around that vehicle. Taking an alternative route or pulling over for a few minutes could help you prevent an accident. In the case that you do get into an accident and notice these events, be sure to tell the local enforcement officers about the suspicious activity.
If you get into a genuine accident, some drivers may try to take advantage of the situation to get additional compensation. Drivers may fake injuries or try to claim unrelated damages to help increase their compensation amount. To help prevent this kind of fraud, it’s always a good idea to take pictures of both vehicles after an accident and exchange information with the other driver. If you do suspect fraud, you can talk to your insurance company to open an investigation.
Although it’s not that common, there are times when an insurance agent may try to commit insurance fraud. In these cases, your agent will take your insurance premium payments but will not apply them or provide coverage. Instead, they pocket the money themselves. If you get into an accident, you won’t actually have any benefits or coverage to help. Properly vetting your insurance company and agent can help prevent this kind of fraud.
If you suspect auto insurance fraud, it’s always important to speak up and open an investigation. At MAIF, we are devoted to helping our drivers avoid accidents and prevent fraud. Call us today at 301.476.4887 if you have any questions about insurance fraud or suspect your case might be affected.