Insurance fraud occurs when someone intentionally provides false information to an insurance company for money he or she is not entitled to receive. Fraud is a major issue for all types of insurance, costing Americans billions of dollars each year. And when it comes to car insurance fraud, it's not only costing drivers money, it's putting them at risk on the road.
How fraud affects you
According to the Insurance Research Council, 24 percent of Americans view claim padding behavior as acceptable, and 10 percent of Americans believe insurance fraud doesn't hurt anyone.
However, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that fraud may cost insurance consumers $29 billion a year. Why should that matter to you? Because customers end up absorbing a lot of the cost, which may amount to about 14 percent of your personal car insurance premium.
Additionally, schemes that involve staged car accidents or fake crashes put other drivers and their passengers at risk on the road.
Types of car insurance fraud
Here are some of the most common types of car insurance fraud to look out for:
- Injury fraud – either through staged car accidents or fraudulent claims leading to payments for unnecessary medical treatment or treatment not actually received
- Exaggerated claims damages – used to cover the deductible
- Conspiracy with medical providers and attorneys – receiving unnecessary medical treatment or getting payments for treatment not actually received
- False registration or documentation – registering a vehicle in a place where premiums are lower, understating annual mileage or misrepresenting the use of a commercial vehicle
Help fight fraud
State Farm® supports movements and partnerships to help reduce car insurance fraud and educate the public about its impacts. Individuals also play a vital role in fighting and rejecting participation in fraud. What you can do:
- Understand your rights and responsibilities in your insurance policy, and contact your State Farm agent with any questions.
- Fill out and carefully check your insurance application forms for mistakes.
- If you get in an accident, make a detailed record of all persons involved, and take pictures at the scene.
- Refuse to sign any documents or agree to any terms at the site of an accident.
- Call the local police if you suspect car insurance fraud.