Car Insurance Fraud occurs when insured and uninsured drivers try to stage an accident, so that they can collect money from the victim’s insurance company. Insurance fraud has been around for hundreds of years, even back in Greece (when insurance first began) when ship owners would purposely hit another ship or sink their own ship to collect money from their insurance policy. Today, there are many forms of car insurance fraud, such as the swoop and squat and the intentional brake-slam.
Intentional brake-slam is when a driver drives in front of you and slams on the brakes purposely out of no where, so that you can crash into them. To the insurance company, this will look like it is your fault, so you will have to pay the driver who really caused the accident. Today, many insurance companies are aware of these happenings and are wearier of whom to give out the money to. Deep and thorough investigations regarding accidents such as this are given to ensure that it was not staged or fraudulent.
Various people stage accidents; individuals and organized crime criminals. With the swoop and squat, there are more than one drivers and vehicles in on the scam. Two of the vehicles in the three car accident have criminal drivers. The “squat” driver positions his car in front of the victim, while the “swoop” driver passes in front of the “squat” car, which causes him to slam on the brakes, causing the victim behind them to crash into the rear of the “squat” driver. Not enough time is given for the victim to swerve or slow down. Of course the swoop car doesn’t stick around to explain to the cops what happened, so it is left up to the victim’s insurance company to pay for the accident and file a report as the cause of the accident. All personal injury and damage claims that are given have to be paid for by the victim.
Many people may not realize what just happened. The swoop and squat is a very dangerous matter and many times results into a fatal accident with the victim and/or criminals. This is especially so when the staged accident occurs on the freeway. Many car insurance fraud criminals may look at it this way, ‘the faster the victim is going, the more damage will be done’. But they aren’t thinking of the fatal consequences, especially that of the squat driver who will be heavily rammed. Their car could easily be pushed into oncoming traffic or in front of other fast cars speeding down the next lane.
Another type of car insurance fraud is the side swipe. Staged by criminals during busy intersections that have dual left turn lanes. The criminal is located in the outer turning lane and the victim is in the inner turning lane. When the victim’s car drifts into the outer turning lane, the criminal side swipes him. The criminals make sure that this is done in busy intersections, so that there better chances of the victims car drifting into the wrong lane during the turn. To ensure this, the criminal does preliminary surveillance to make sure that the intersection is busy enough for the side swipe to work.
Then there is the panic stop. When a criminal drives an old model car with a lot of passengers, he has one of the people in the back look out the rear window. The sign given to do the panic stop will be given once the person in the back notices the car behind them is distracted, either by answering a cell phone, turning around or changing the radio station. As soon as this occurs, the passenger signals the driver to slam on the brakes, which then causes the distracted victim to collide into their rear.
Victim is totally at fault, especially since he was “distracted”. Of course only perpetrators know that this was just another one of the car insurance fraud scams. All of the passengers within the car will fake injuries and the old model car would likely have a lot of damage. The victim is left penniless with points on their license and higher monthly car insurance premium rates.
Some even commit car insurance fraud on themselves, using their own car as a means to get insurance money. For instance, the con artist might have someone steal their car which is then destroyed, usually found burned or buried underground and insurance money is collected for the damage done. Another instance; Con artist buys a car that needs lots of repairs then pretends it is stolen. He hides it for thirty days, long enough for the insurance company to settle the claim of the stolen vehicle. Later the car is found “abandoned” after the insurance money was paid. Another known trick is the export scam. Perpetrator secures a bank loan for a brand new car. He reports the car as stolen to the authorities, but in truth it is exported to another country to be sold in black market. Perpetrator not only collects money from insurance agencies, but also profits from the sale.
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