• Tips for Dealing with Auto Insurance Fraud

    Car insurance companies lose millions of dollars every year due to auto insurance fraud. In times of economic uncertainty and with increases in the cost of living, many people look at car insurance fraud as a means of getting some fast money.

    In fact, many people look at insurance fraud as an almost victimless crime because of the size of insurance companies and the amount of money many people believe they earn. However, we are all victims of car insurance fraud in that most car insurance companies simply pass their losses on to the rest of us in the form of higher car insurance premiums.

    These days, car insurance companies are more vigilant than ever in attempting to combat car insurance fraud, and often suspect fraud even when there is none. Insurance adjusters are much more thorough in their investigations of accidents, vandalism and theft than they have ever been. As a result, many car insurance claims are denied when fraud is suspected. So in order to protect yourself from being suspected of insurance fraud, and possibly having a claim denied, here are a few tips that you should follow.

    Get Estimates from Reputable Shops

    If you’re involved in a car accident, and need to have your vehicle repaired, always get at least three or four estimates from reputable repair shops in your area. Search for and choose repair shops that have a good reputation for offering honest service and providing accurate price quotes. By choosing reputable repair shops when shopping for quotes, the insurance adjuster will have less cause to suspect that repair estimates are fraudulent or unnecessarily inflated.

    Always Keep Invoices and Receipts

    Whenever you make a car insurance claim, always make sure that you have documentation to verify any claims for damages, medical expenses and replacement costs for items that were lost or destroyed. Never estimate costs and expenses when making a car insurance claim.

    For example, if you are injured in an automobile accident, always keep copies of the invoices and payment receipts from doctors and hospitals. Also, if your car was vandalized or stolen, and you are seeking replacement costs for personal property that was in the vehicle, always make sure that you have receipts or invoices to prove that you actually owned the property for which replacement costs are being claimed.

    Cooperate with the Insurance Adjuster

    In some cases, the insurance adjuster may perform an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a car insurance claim. The insurance adjuster may visit you at your home or workplace and ask questions about an accident, act of vandalism or theft of your vehicle. If the insurance adjuster approaches you, treat him/her courteously and answer all questions as thoroughly as you can. Being cooperative with the insurance adjuster will go far in helping to speed your claim and help avoid being suspected of car insurance fraud.

    Report Car Insurance Fraud

    Car insurance affects us all in that it costs us more in car insurance premiums; therefore, if you are aware of someone that is committing car insurance fraud, report it to your local police department or your state insurance commissioner. The more we as to curb instances of car insurance fraud, the less reason car insurance companies will have to raise our insurance premiums.