Avoid car crash insurance scams

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If the world were a perfect place, rush hour traffic reports in large cities would be non- existent. All drivers would follow the rules of the road and crashes would never happen. And the only car maintenance anyone would need to get would be to keep the oil changed and the tires rotated.

But the world isn’t perfect, and unfortunately some drivers deliberately break the rules of the road in an attempt to create an insurance scam. Here are some of the types of fraud happening on the road, and ways you may be able to avoid them:

* Forcing a rear-end collision. On multi-lane roads and highways, scammers will pull in front of an unsuspecting driver and hit the brakes. If the following driver isn’t able to react quickly enough, he very likely will rear-end the first car, and the scammer will not only collect the auto insurance payment for “repairs” to the vehicle, but also potentially fake injuries. One way to avoid a crash like this is to drive defensively – keeping good distance between your car and vehicles in front of you. Also, pay attention to other drivers on the road in case you need to suddenly hit the brakes. If you are involved in a rear-end collision, try to get witness statements from other drivers. Their statements might help determine if there really was a reason for the front vehicle to stop suddenly.

* Additional damage appearing after the crash. Sometimes the crash isn’t really a scam, but the resulting claims are. In this case, a scammer will create additional damage to the car after the crash, for a higher payout from your auto insurance company. If you are involved in a crash, use a camera or your cell phone camera to document the damage to both vehicles at the scene. Write down what areas of both vehicles are damaged, and ask the other driver to initial the document before you leave the scene. Having an official police report logged of the crash may also help prevent this scam from happening.

* The “friendly” wave. Every driver has probably experienced or even given the friendly wave at least once. Two cars are at an intersection, one driver waves the other driver to proceed, and everyone gets through the intersection and on with their travels. But some scammers have given another driver the “friendly” wave, only to then deliberately crash into him in the middle of the intersection. When it comes time for the claim to be made, the first driver will deny ever waving at the second vehicle. Practicing defensive driving may help you to avoid a crash like this, especially if you are able to keep an eye on all other vehicles while proceeding through an intersection.

Having a crash-free record will help keep your auto insurance rates lower. The best tip for avoiding crashes – and potential scams – is to practice defensive driving. Save money on car insurance by having all drivers in your family keep their driving records as spotless as possible.