Depending on the severity of it, being in a car accident can turn out to be a traumatic experience. Sometimes, people’s lives can be endangered, and if it is only a minor collision, there will probably be some damage to the vehicles involved.
Unfortunately, sometimes, a car owner can be the victim of insurance fraud. Yes, some people will go a long way to earn some quick cash, and this often happens at the expense of other innocent individuals. Due to this reason, in this article, we are going to introduce you to the most common types of insurance frauds and also give you some tips on what you should do to protect yourself.
How does auto insurance fraud occur?
Well, put in layman’s terms, these frauds occur when one participant makes false claims in order to receive compensation. These can only be somewhat exaggerated when a person falsifies injuries. However, there are also those where someone plans and causes an accident. For example, someone might plan the entire thing of causing the collision and filing a specific claim. On the other note, there are some people who would seize the opportunity to file a claim for some preexisting damage to the vehicle, and they might even include some false expenses for medical treatment that never occurred.
What can you do?
There are numerous things that you have to be careful about, everything from buying insurance to trying to prevent the accident and how you behave if one happens.
Be aware of insurance sellers
First things first, you have to be careful when you buy insurance. You have to do a thorough investigation before signing that contract. Be wary of people who come to your front door or call you via telephone to sell you insurance. Also, if the deal seems too good to be true, then probably it is, meaning that you shouldn’t accept it.
When you opt for one company, make sure to check their business and confirm that they are licensed. This is something that you can do by contacting your state’s insurance department. If you are presented with a list of “free services” our advice is to investigate whether they are really free of charge, or if there are some hidden expenses that you will have to pay for in the future.
Finally, once you get your insurance identification number, you should guard it just like you do your social security number. Why? Well, if you are not careful about it, the criminals might steal it and use it in any kind of fraud.
What if you get into an accident?
We have covered the question of purchasing the insurance and choosing the right plan, now let’s discuss what you should do if you are involved in a collision.
Stay at the scene
Regardless of the severity of the accident, the worst thing that you can do is to leave the scene, even if it’s just a fender bender. You might not be aware of this, but in some states, you might be faced with some criminal penalties. This means that you will have to pay a significant fine and your license will be probably be revoked.
Check if anyone is injured
Start with yourself and the passengers in your vehicle, if there are any and then get out and check on the people in the other vehicle. Make sure to be really careful because even if it was a minor accident, people could get seriously hurt if they weren’t wearing seat belts. Once you ensure that everything is alright, call the ambulance.
You should do this even if no one is injured. Why? Well, the paramedics will assess you at the scene, and fill out reports that you will need when filing a claim. At the same time, this report will protect you if someone tries to file compensation for injuries that did not occur.
Call the police
Once again, even if it just a fender bender, you have to call the police and ask them to file a report. Wait for them at the scene of the accident and tell them everything that has happened. This is another report that you will need in the future.
You should also collect all the information regarding the police report, but also the officers who were at the scene. Ask them for any identification details, such as their badge number, and make sure that they have written down every last detail.
This is something that police officers will probably do, but you should do it as well. Make sure to take photographs of your vehicle and note any damages that occurred. You should also ask the other party to do the same, because, as we have already mentioned, people might try to file claims for damage that didn’t occur in the collision. What’s more, don’t forget to photograph the location where the accident occurred.
Get the names of everyone who was involved in the accident, not just the driver of the other vehicle, but also all the passengers. Ask for their phone number, and all insurance details such as the name of the company and their agent, policy number, and so on.
At the same time, you have to be careful when giving out your information. Remember what we said about criminals who plan and organize the whole thing? Just to be on the safe side, do not tell them your social security number or any other detail that they can’t get on their own.
File a claim
Once you have made your statement and the police have made the report, you should notify your insurance company. Provide them with all the details about the accident and give them information about the other participant.
Think about whether you need a lawyer. This might not be necessary if no one was hurt, but if this is not the case, then you will definitely need a legal representative. Visit the puschnguyen website to learn who they can assist you, but basically, they will not only maximize your compensation, but they will also protect you in case of an auto insurance fraud. Remember, dealing with the insurance company can be quite tricky, which is why it is of crucial importance to have someone familiar with all the details and aspects of the process on your side.