Car insurance Frauds come in all shapes and sizes, from sweeping penalty points under the rug, to crash for cash and flash for cash scams. Here we will discuss some of the commonest, including the best response should you ever be at the receiving end of Car insurance scams.
Car insurance frauds: Types
Drivers may neglect to share info with insurers or even purposely mislead them:
Fronting happens when a driver tells a car insurance company that they are a vehicle’s primary driver when it’s somebody else. Parents practice this illegality when seeking a more affordable, quieter for their children. The latter may be either learning to drive or have passed their driving test, faced with unaffordable car insurance premiums.
Circumstances changing call for an update
Several factors impinge upon how car insurance p[remiums are calculated. In the event of any change in your circumstances, you definitely ought to inform your insurer. These factors may include
- Home address;
- The site where the car’s generally parked overnight;
- Your declared reason why you use the vehicle at all;
- Your occupation.
Students frequently commit accidental car insurance frauds in the aforementioned style when they neglect to inform the insurers about their student accommodation at the university.
If you see that your circumstances have changed and you are driving less, you should take out a different kind of insurance policy. Paying as you go might actually save you money.
You would only have to pay 4p per mile in addition to a different kind of insurance policy. With a cancellable rolling monthly subscription with your insurer, you would still be getting a great deal.
Declaring modifications to the insurers
Regardless of however minor the modifications may be, please inform your car’s changed circumstance ASAP to the insurers. For example, a security alarm fitted could bring down insurance costs. The car’s value would increase, however, as modifications add to the overall functionality.
Vehicle dumping takes place when an owner abandons their car, sets it ablaze, or in this vein tries to get rid of it – then tries to claim money against the policy.
Ghost brokers are scammers posing as insurance brokers, selling ersatz policies to complacent motorists. Albeit their initial original and true form, the scammers subject these policies to a lot of reworking. Resultantly, these policies are totally self-defeating as to their initial intent and purpose when motorists receive these. The scammers make them the vehicles of their ‘scammy’ ideas. Insurers take a dire view of these scammers and their exploits. You are advised to take pains to avoid buying a fraudulent car insurance policy.
If found with a fraudulent document like these, the insurer might also decide to come after you. To provide evidence that you did not knowingly buy a fraudulent policy would be your responsibility to bear. Therefore, it would be sensible to be aware of all tell-tale signs of a ghost brokerage document.
There’s a comprehensive list of approved insurance brokers on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website if it’s any comfort. To dispel any doubts as to your vehicle’s adequate insurance, you only have to enter your vehicle registration against the motor insurance database.
Highwaymen’s ways: aggressive variants
‘Crash for cash’ car insurance frauds
Scammers purposely crash into unwary motorists’ vehicles. Actions like these push for OTT claims for damages, and if successful, use these funds to finance such activities even further.
Per one estimate, insurers face losses to the tune of GBP 340 million each year, courtesy of Crash for cash car insurance frauds.
‘Crash for cash’ car insurance frauds: scenarios
The Insurance Fraud Bureau trifurcates these scams into three scenarios –
- Staged incidents where scammers crash into two of their own vehicles or make it look like their vehicles have undergone crash damage with their own tools;
- Induced accidents involving a scammer purposely slamming onto their brakes to make the car behind them crash into them;
- Ghost accidents where a scammer will submit claims for non-existent accidents.
‘Flash for cash’ car insurance frauds
In a Flash for cash car insurance scam scenario, scammers flash their headlights to allow other motorists to pass them before ramming their vehicle into the naive ones.
Flash for cash car insurance scam incidents, when they land in court, cause a good deal of pain. Given that it is well-nigh impossible to prove that the unwary motorist was innocent, the whole thing boils down to scammers’ words against the dewy-eyed.
Per Rule 104, the Highway Code does say that you ought to “watch out for signals given by other road users and proceed only when you are satisfied that it is safe”.
‘Slam on’ car insurance frauds
In ‘Slam on’ car insurance scam cases, scammers slam on purposely and quite unexpectedly, hoping that some wide-eyed motorist will crash into their back. The scammers will then push their claim for maximum damages on the simple-minded motorist.
‘Hide and crash ‘car insurance frauds
‘Hide and crash ‘car insurance frauds are a variant of ‘Slam on’ car insurance frauds. Scammers lie patiently in an ambush in a motorists’ blind spot. As soon as the target ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ greenhorn motorist passes by, these scammers accelerate, then pass them by. The thing ends with the scammers slamming their brakes smartly and hard right in the way of the targeted motorist’s car.
How do you sidestep these highway hassles?
While it’s true that there’s no assured way of guaranteeing yourself against such Highwayman guts, you can dent theory glory by putting these scammers nearabouts the dock, like so:
- Giving the widest berth to carts that are conspicuously slow or accelerating for no good reason;
- Drivers and their passengers paying undue attention to the road behind them – perhaps they are scouting for possible customers that would swallow the bait?;
- Tell-tale overly-dented backsides on cars – veterans of a thousand quarrels ?;
- Conspicuous faulty/broken brake-lights – the ready alibi?
Taking your initiative against car insurance frauds
Upon finding yourself in a car insurance scam, here’s the to-do list you would do best to follow:
- Jot down the make, model, and registration, of the other cars involved;
- Jot down the date, time, location, weather conditions;
- Scribble down the names, addresses, DOBs of the other drivers and their passengers;
- Ascertain that all mentioned injuries are in your own record;
- Snap all the cars concerned, including damage sustained; do not admit to any liability;
- If witnesses were present, jot down their contact numbers, taking their permission that you would like to contact them later (be sure they are not in the scammers’ pay);
- Calling the Police might have some deterrence value;
- Let your insurers know about the accident; dial 0800 422 041: that’s the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s Chatline number.
Car insurance frauds are a serious blight on the landscape – a serious offence. You would be well within your rights to take a proactive approach to protect yourself against scammers. There are a number of behavioural changes that would let your vigilance guard you. Also, the authorities are more than grateful for fully aware sufferers and do their best to do right by them.