Staged accidents that are engineered by fraudsters are on the increase and the Insurance Fraud Bureau estimates that undetected insurance fraud costs more than £2bn a year and adds nearly £50 a year to innocent policy holders’ policies. There are steps that you can take to minimise the risk of being involved in one of these crash for cash scams but chief among these preventative measures is to remain vigilant and drive safely.
You should always drive safely and follow the Highway Code. If you are involved in an accident and it is determined that you were not driving safely then it won’t take a scammer to win their case.
It is commonplace for drivers to flash and let other cars out at junctions. However, bear in mind that flash for cash incidents are on the increase. In these cases, when a car flashes to let you out, they will then set off and essentially drive into your car. Because you did not have the right of way it means that you will usually be found guilty of causing the accident and the fraudulent driver will be able to claim compensation for an accident that they actually engineered.
Always be vigilant of what is happening around you. If you notice that the car in front is damaged then be even more cautious in order to protect yourself from crash for cash scams.
It is not unusual for fraudsters to intentionally damage or break their brake lights so that you will have a lot less time to react when they brake hard in front of you. If you notice that the brake lights of the car in front are damaged then you should be extra vigilant because even if they are not trying to cause an accident, you will have less time to react once you notice the car slowing down.
Watch The Road Ahead
The car in front is not the only potential hazard and not the only car or group of people that may be involved in trying to cause a fraudulent crash claim. Watch the road ahead as well as side roads and even the pavements.
One tactic employed by fraud rings is for a car in front of the fraudster car to drive erratically, allowing the scammer to slam on their brakes and increase the likelihood that you will rear end them. If you notice erratic driving up ahead then be sure to apply caution.
Carry A Pen And Paper And Your Camera Phone
Information really is power when it comes to insurance claims and eye witnesses could prevent you from being found guilty of an accident. Carry a pen and paper in your glove box.
Use the camera on your phone to take photos of the accident and any damage caused to the other car. If you accidentally capture images of the other car’s occupants this could prove invaluable to the case too. Some fraudsters try to claim for phantom passengers that were not in the car in the first place and if you can prove this is the case then it will help prove your innocence.
Consider Dashboard CCTV
It represents a fairly significant investment but dashboard CCTV could help prove if somebody flashed you out of a junction or it could prove that the car in front did not have working brake lights.
You can also by stickers to display on the front of your car to highlight the fact that you have dashboard CCTV and this means that you equipment can act as a deterrent as well as an aid to prove your innocence and to prove the guilt of the fraudulent driver.