Let’s just get this out there and out of the way right now: there are very few people who deliberately go out of their way to commit car insurance fraud. (Hopefully) Yet, it’s surprisingly easy to unintentionally commit insurance fraud. If you want to do whatever you can to protect yourself — and your rates — from insurance fraud, here are some types of auto fraud you should know about!
Types of insurance fraud to be aware of
Inflated repair costs
If your car gets hit and you are having it repaired and covered by insurance, you might add a little extra to the price and pad it just a bit. After all, who’s going to know? The thing is, this is car insurance fraud. Even if it’s done by your mechanic, it’s being done under your name for the claim, so make sure that all prices are transparent!
Torching your car for the insurance payout
If you’re stuck and need money, you might either drive your car into a lake or perhaps you have someone “steal” it just to get the insurance payout to help you out. However, if the car is intentionally destroyed or stolen, it is considered car insurance fraud.
In this case, it often refers to the idea of listing your residential address as being in a different area/location/county than it actually is. For example, if your aunt’s county is cheaper than your county, you’ll be tempted to list hers just to get a cheaper rate. What’s the harm, right? Insurance fraud is the harm, that’s what!
Not listing all household drivers
This one often happens to be accidental, but it’s also very common in modern households! If you have, say 5 drivers in the house, but you only list 4 drivers on your insurance paperwork. The 5th might be a new driver or have a poor driving history. However, not listing them as a regular driver is going to be an example of insurance fraud. One that is easily fixed, of course! More on that below, though, so keep reading!
How to avoid fraud
Of course, none of these are situations that any of us want to be in! If you aren’t sure if you are committing fraud, you can ask your insurance agent about it! It isn’t something to be fearful about, and they’ll be happy to help you navigate to fraud-free territory It also does a lot to help them protect against it again in the future. The bottom line is that being upfront about it is always going to be better than having them find out after the fact from someone else… or getting into an accident and finding out that something isn’t covered because you falsified information.
The other thing to keep in mind is that car insurance fraud doesn’t just impact you, but everyone — and their premiums. Avoiding it as best you can is going to help keep everyone happy. Education is key to that, and when you need a little bit more personalized help, contact Paula Insurance Services at (281) 488-8880! They’ll be more than happy to help you keep yourself above board!