Insurance claims from crashes that appear to be staged rose
46 percent between 2007 and 2009, according to recently
released statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Ordinarily, these accidents are set up by criminals who work in groups. They sometimes involve several drivers and passengers who claim injuries, paid witnesses, and even medical providers who claim to have provided treatment for the false injuries. According to a recent article, some of the most common types of crashes include luring innocent drivers into crashes, scammers crashing into each other, and completely fabricating non-existent accidents.
According to an expert with the NICB, a non-profit organization that is funded by the insurance industry, a staged accident that results in a payout to victims, including medical and legal expenses, can average between $80,000 and $100,000. Not coincidentally, insurance premiums nationwide have risen an average of 24 percent over the past three years.
Experts recommend that in order to avoid getting scammed, be sure to maintain sufficient distance between your car and the car in front of you. If you are in an accident, take notes on the names and number of passengers in the other car or cars, and pay careful attention to how they are acting. Use your cell phone’s camera to carefully document damages to your car and the other car or cars. Get a police report, even for minor accidents. If someone tries to steer you to an unknown body shop, doctor, lawyer or chiropractor, take notes, and contact the California Department of Insurance’s Fraud Division if you have suspicions.