There are many ways you can become a victim of auto insurance fraud: referral and accident scams and unethical insurance agents are everywhere. Whether you’re already insured or buying Auto Insurance Westmoreland County for the first time, you should know how to safeguard yourself from fraud.
Insurance Shopping Tips
- Steer clear of insurance sold door-to-door or by unsolicited phone calls or Internet ads.
- Be wary if the coverage price is much lower than average. The coverage could be a rip-off, or it could be riddled with exclusions that you only find when you file a claim.
- Ask your state insurance department if the company and/or agent are properly licensed.
- Check the insurer’s BBB rating.
- Ask if the company has ownership or a stake in any vehicle repair facility; if so, proceed with caution.
- Protect your insurance ID information just like you’d protect your Social Security number; once it’s been stolen, it can be used for unethical purposes.
On the Road
- Be on guard if a car cuts you off or forces you to follow too closely; it could be the beginning of a staged accident.
- Go with your gut feelings. If someone seems to be behaving oddly or following you, pull into the nearest safe spot (fire station, police station or public place) you find.
- Carry a disposable camera or accident preparedness kit in your vehicle at all times.
- In the event of an accident, exchange driver’s license, insurance and registration information with the other driver, and take photos of the damage.
- Count the number of occupants in the other vehicle, and get their names and phone numbers as well.
- If possible, call the police to the scene. Get a report with the name of the officer, even in cases of minimal damage.
- Stay away from people at accident scenes who try to encourage you to visit a specific lawyer or doctor
- Demand itemized bills for medical services and repairs, and keep all receipts.
- Never sign a blank Auto Insurance in Westmoreland County claim form.
There are a lot of things you can do to protect yourself from car insurance fraud, but sometimes it happens no matter how careful you are. If you think you’ve been victimized, call the National Insurance Crime Bureau at (800) 835-6422, and be sure to report the crime.