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10 Scariest Auto Insurance Fraud Schemes in California

    3 minute read

    If you spend a lot of time reading the newspaper, watching the local news, or perusing online news sites, you are likely to read about various types of fraud that seem to happen on a frequent basis. Many Californians fall victim to scams of all types and end up losing significant amounts of money as a result each and every year.

    Watch Out for These Common Auto Insurance Scams

    Sadly, this sometimes involves the auto insurance industry. In an effort to arm you against these risks, here are ten of the most common auto insurance scams that you could see experience in California.

    BMW with significant front end damage1. Unexplained sudden stop.  You are driving along a quiet road when a van stops suddenly in front of you for no apparent reason. You helplessly rear-end the vehicle, and afterward several passengers in the van complain of neck and back injuries. They file insurance claims for “injury treatment,” but pocket the money instead.

    2. Swoop and squat. This is a variation of the sudden stop. In this scenario you you are driving along when one car gets right next to you in the adjacent lane. Another car then “swoops” in front of you and stops suddenly. You have no way to avoid the impending rear-end collision.

    3. Wave and crash. Picture yourself turning left into a shopping center and a nice man in an oncoming pickup truck stops and waves his hand to indicate for you to proceed. When you do though, heaccelerates, crashes into your car, and denies ever waving you through. This way, he can place the accident blame on you.

    4. Phony witnesses. The concept of phony witnesses follows the same model as the wave and crash. You are driving and proceed through a four-way stop at an intersection. Suddenly, a car slams into the side of your vehicle. Next thing you know, several “witnesses” in the area claim that you ran the stop sign and caused the accident, thus placing the blame on you.

    unsolicited auto insurance quote5. Unsolicited quote. You are sitting at home when you get a phone call from an insurance agency you have never heard of. The man on the phone offers to get you an incredibly low auto insurance rate if you would simply provide personal information such as your credit card number and social security number. Armed with this extremely important information, he commits identity theft and fraud using what you so willingly handed over.

    6. Counterfeit air bags. After a collision, you take your car into an auto shop for repairs. Since your air bag deployed in the accident, it must be replaced. The scam is that the shop uses substandard materials or even a fake air bag and bills your insurance company for the repairs. This way the repair shop is able to turn a hefty profit and you are left with an unsafe vehicle.

    7. Windshield replacement scams. A man walks up to you at a gas station and offers to replace your windshield for free, as long as you provide your auto insurance information so his work can be submitted as a claim. You get a new windshield, but then the man files a number of phony claims under your policy to collect the insurance money.

    woman sitting on a broken down car8. Tow truck scams. Your car is disabled on the side of a road when a tow truck comes along and offers assistance. You are grateful for the help, until your insurance company receives a giant bill from the towing company.

    9. A lowball quote. An insurance agent from one of the companies you are researching responds to your inquiry with an unbelievably low rate quote. Once you sign up for the insurance though, you are informed of a “rate error” and told that your premiums will actually cost hundreds more.

    10. A fake agent. You call an insurance company or agent listed in a specific city and sign up for a policy. In reality, however, the insurer does not actually exist, and the fraudulent individual simply pockets your auto insurance payments.

    If you have any questions about auto insurance scams in California, or are worried that you might unwittingly fall victim to a fraudulent insurance situation, contact the Auto Insurance Specialists. We only represent reputable insurance companies in California, and our licensed specialists will work hard to make sure you get the protection you need.

    This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.