Avoiding Auto Insurance Scams: Protecting Yourself In New York – Fraud can be a scary word, especially if it’s happening to you. Now more than ever, the signs of scammers are all around us. Fraud indicators can be from companies reporting data breaches or emails informing you that your personal information has been compromised. You may have heard warnings on the news or even from your bank about fraud.
Don’t worry though. If you follow a few simple steps, you could be well on your way to protecting your financial future. Fraud doesn’t have to be scary if you know what to look for.
Avoiding Auto Insurance Scams: Protecting Yourself In New York
Choose a password that is meaningful to you and difficult to guess. For example, “Drivingisfun214!” it is a short sentence with a few numbers and is easy to remember.
Ways To Spot A Scam
Unsecured social media links can be used to access your personal information. Make sure you know what you’re clicking on. Also, if you receive a suspicious-looking email asking you to click on a link, go to the company’s website.
Scammers often post questions like “What was the hit song the year you were born?” Based on the answers they receive, they can find out what year you were born. This could be the last thing they need to steal your identity.
All three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion, and Equifax) offer a free copy of your credit report once a year. Check them to make sure they’re only reporting information you know.
If you see something, say something See your bank statement. If you don’t know what a charge is, be sure to notify your bank. If you update your personal information when it changes, the bank will notify you if it sees anything unusual. High pressure releases can be a scam
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Scammers pressure people into making bad decisions by creating an emergency. If someone pressures you, be sure to slow down and get their employee ID and callback number. Keep an eye out for texts and emails too!
Protect yourself by shredding or shredding documents that contain private information, such as your Social Security number or address. Cutting up overdue credit and debit cards is another smart move.
If your information is taken, you should notify all three reporting agencies. Agencies can place temporary locks on your credit report.
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Knowing what to look out for can help you avoid these common auto insurance scams that cost auto insurers and consumers billions of dollars each year.
Here’s How To Protect Yourself From Some Common Scams
According to the FBI, non-health insurance fraud costs the average American family between $400 and $700 per year. Many auto insurance scams are designed simply to take your money, while others, such as staged accidents and fraudulent air bags, can directly put you in harm’s way.
In this article, our Guides Auto team will highlight some of the most common car insurance scams and share some tips to help you avoid them. We’ll also cover the best ways to report any car insurance fraud you might encounter.
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of ways that people can take advantage of insurance companies and policyholders. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF) reports that insurance fraud costs the US more than $308 billion annually. As you might expect, auto insurance scams are responsible for a significant portion of this staggering figure. In the following sections, we’ll break down some of the most common auto insurance scams and how you can avoid falling victim to them.
Car accidents happen every day, and America’s insurers pay out billions of dollars in claims each year. As a policyholder, it’s one thing to have your auto insurance premiums go up because you caused an accident, but it can also happen when you’re the innocent victim of a fraud scheme.
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Staged accidents occur when a driver (sometimes with an accomplice) intentionally causes a collision in order to receive a fraudulent payment from an auto insurance company. Here are some common accidents and accident-related scams to watch out for:
These cascading accidents can have a significant impact on your car insurance rates. Here’s how having an at-fault accident on your driving record affects your rates with several of the top auto insurance companies:
You can protect yourself from staged accidents, and subsequent insurance rate hikes, by avoiding tailgating and being wary of anyone who offers unsolicited help. This happens when you are behind the wheel and after a collision. Sometimes there is no reason for another driver to wave you forward in a turn; in general, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
If you are in an accident, staged or not, be sure to document all the damage with your mobile device. Also, consider how many occupants are in other vehicles.
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Auto repair scams can take many forms. Mechanics may use low-quality parts that lead to future repairs or simply perform unnecessary repairs. Either way, customers and insurance companies end up paying more.
A scarier type of repair scam involves counterfeit airbags. To increase profits, unscrupulous repair shops use cheap airbags to get unsafe cars back on the road. These rogue airbags have a high probability of malfunctioning, sometimes releasing metal shrapnel when they deploy.
It’s always best to check out a repair shop before entrusting your vehicle to them. We recommend that you use repair facilities recommended by your insurance company, as they likely have a long history of reliable work.
Seeing a tow truck on the scene right after an accident or breakdown may not be a sign of good luck. There are shady towing services that will take cars and hold them hostage until you pay exorbitant fees. These scammers will usually not give you clear information about their services or tell you how they were informed about your accident or breakdown.
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The best way to avoid this is by calling towing assistance. Your insurance company will have preferred companies that you can contact.
This is one of the more complex types of auto insurance scams as it requires doctors to get involved. In this case, scammers can falsify medical bills, charge for unnecessary procedures, or even sue for pain and suffering.
The best way to avoid this type of scam is to document everything you can at the scene of the accident. That way, you’ll have proof if you ever need to defend yourself against a false medical claim.
Unfortunately, you may encounter a dishonest insurance agent. There are a couple of ways that insurance professionals can take advantage of customers. Perhaps the most costly type of agent fraud involves stealing premiums. When this happens, your agent simply keeps your money and never sets up automatic coverage. It’s only when you go to file a claim that you discover you have no coverage.
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Avoiding agent fraud is usually just a matter of doing your homework. Before working with an insurance agent, we suggest you check your state’s licensing database. You can also verify your coverage directly with your insurer.
If you have been a victim
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