No one wants to experience an auto collision. Even so, they can happen to anyone.
While an accident can be overwhelming, it’s important to know how to protect yourself in the aftermath because post-accident scams are on the rise. Being aware of this type of fraud is the first step in protecting yourself against them.
But what does a post-accident scam look like?
It could mean getting towed to a repair shop that holds your car hostage until you pay an outrageous fee or even transfer ownership. In such an instance, fraudsters will intentionally cause an accident, and then demand that the vehicle be taken to a particular repair shop. They do so because it means the auto repair business is able to invoice all the repair work to a victim's insurer. If you feel like this is about to occur, be sure to call your insurance provider to let them know what happened and how to proceed, including steps to arrange for tow truck service (if needed).
In some auto collision frauds, perpetrators may even claim for non-existent injuries after a collision. In short, if there is a way to get financial gain from a car accident where a fraudster looks like a victim, they will try to do so. That’s why it is so crucial to be vigilant to this type of crime and to know how to avoid insurance fraud. If at the scene of the accident, someone claims to be experiencing an injury be sure to call both the police and an ambulance right away for assistance. If the injury is real, then it’s best to have properly trained medical staff on hand, but if it’s part of an insurance scam, then having law enforcement at the scene of the accident can act as a deterrent to the fraudsters perpetuating their scam.
Insurers have seen customers fall victim to these fraudulent scams. Fortunately, these steps may help you avoid potential post-accident fraud:
- Call your insurance provider right away once everyone’s safe. They’ll help you through the claims process smoothly.
- Record details of the accident. Note the vehicles involved and the people or companies you interact with.
- Don’t sign any blank forms or anything you don’t understand. Take time to read the fine print and ask questions.
- Reach out to your insurer to discuss what options are available for repair shops and rental cars.
- Finally, if you have suspicions of fraud, report it to your insurer.
By keeping to these steps, you may help keep yourself and your loved ones well-informed and protected against post-collision insurance scams.
Car accidents can be high-stress situations, but it’s still important to keep a level head during the post-collision process, so you can know when someone may be trying to pull a fast one on you. And remember, if you ever feel uncomfortable during your interactions with the other driver, you can always call the police to act as a neutral third party. Often, just their presence alone will be enough to deter any would be insurance scam artists.