5 Things You Need to Do to Protect Yourself from Auto Insurance Fraud
When you think of auto insurance fraud, you probably think of the person who sets their brand new 2019 Mazda3 on fire or pretends it’s stolen for the insurance money. And that’s not something you would ever do. But that’s also not the only type of auto insurance fraud. And, in fact, you could become a victim to unscrupulous people if you aren’t careful.
Here are 5 things you need to do to protect yourself from auto insurance fraud:
Avoid unlicensed insurance companies
These days, most people choose one of the major insurance companies and call it a day. And if you do that, you’ll be safe from getting scammed by an unlicensed insurance company. But you might miss out on a good deal or great service from a smaller provider. If you do go with one of the smaller guys, just make sure they are licensed. If they aren’t, their policies are invalid (i.e., you just got scammed).
Pay attention to auto repair costs
When you bring your car to the auto repair shop after an accident, make sure it’s one you trust. Some shady repair shops may use cheap parts to make the repairs while billing the insurance company for the parts they should have used.
Another tactic is to put parts on the bill that the repair shop didn’t use on your vehicle. And a third way shops can commit auto insurance fraud is by overstating the necessary repair. If you’re concerned about the shop you’ve chosen, get a second opinion.
Only choose highly reputed repair shops
This one is about the lowest of the low. In most cases, your airbag will deploy in the event of an accident. Well, if you take your car to a shady auto repair shop afterwards, there’s a chance they’ll replace your airbag with something that’s not an airbag. Mechanics have been known to stuff the compartment with other things to keep the sensors working. But this insurance fraud could cost you your life.
Avoid unsolicited repairs
If someone approaches you about replacing your windshield, don’t.
Some scammers will look for victims of this fraud by convincing people they need their windshields replaced, but the insurance will cover it. The scammers often use a shoddy windshield and submit the claim for you. But this could drive up your insurance premiums, and if the insurance company suspects fraud, you could be the one in hot water.
If you’re like most of us, you’re probably not looking for fraud when you get your windshield replaced. But you should be.
If you do need your windshield replaced, make sure you’re the one initiating the repair, and go to a reputable repair shop.
Go with your gut on accident claims
Other drivers can also commit insurance fraud. If something feels off, don’t trust it. For example, if you get into an accident and someone asks you to tell the insurance company something that’s untrue, don’t do it. If you do, you’re an accomplice to their insurance fraud, and you could get in trouble.
There are cases where you may think a false claim or little white lie is harmless, but insurance agents have become very savvy at spotting auto insurance fraud. Don’t risk the punishment and be on the lookout for anyone who might be willing to scam you.