5 Common Auto Insurance Scams (And How to Avoid Them)


The Staged Accident

There are more ways other than just a rear-ending for a scam artist to lure you and your insurance policy into danger. In a situation called "the drive down," what appears to be a friendly stranger who has the "right of way" waves you into traffic and then rams into the side of your car, merging into traffic just as you do. He'll then deny having given you permission, leaving you liable. A similar scam can occur with two cars vying for a parking space, which ends up with the same result -- a collision and an insurance claim. One more type of staged accident is the sideswipe, in which the eagle-eyed criminal will intentionally ram your car if you drift into the outer lane when turning via the inner lane of a two-lane turn zone at an intersection.

The best way to avoid these particular brands of trouble is to be alert and vigilant, always staying inside your lane and following "right of way" procedures.

Related Articles


  • Blain, Glenn. "Senate drives up penalties on car insurance fraud." New York Daily News. March 23, 2012. (March 26, 2012) http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/senate-drives-penalties-car-insurance-fraud-bills-article-1.1049454
  • Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. "Scam Alert: Staged auto crashes." (March 26, 2012) http://www.insurancefraud.org/staged_accidents.htm
  • Edmunds.com. "Auto Insurance Fraud: What It Costs You." May 13, 2009. (March 25, 2012) http://www.edmunds.com/auto-insurance/auto-insurance-fraud-what-it-costs-you.html
  • Mears, Teresa. "Car-crash scams on the rise." MSN Money Central. May 11, 2010. (March 27, 2012) http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/article.aspx?post=1754100&vv=1200
  • Siciliano, Robert. "5 Insidious Forms of Auto Insurance Fraud." Huffington Post. Feb. 17, 2012. (March 26, 2012) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-siciliano/5-insidious-forms-of-auto_b_1284291.html


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Is your car over-insured?

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