To responsibly drive on California roads, drivers must have a valid license and the appropriate insurance coverage. This ensures that if there is an accident, someone is responsible for paying for the medical costs, property repair and possibly even funeral expenses of another they injured. Unfortunately, there are many uninsured or underinsured drivers on the road and victims can be left high and dry if the other driver was committing automobile insurance fraud.
According to the California Department of Insurance, automobile insurance fraud comes through both accidents and property. Property fraud occurs when a dishonest repair or auto body shop or the insured use the following illegal techniques:
- Falsely reporting vandalism or stolen vehicles
- Charging for brand new parts then not fixing them
- Using used or aftermarket parts from a jerk yard and charging full price for them
- Billing for non-authorized repairs
- Reporting damage that was there before the accident occurred as part of the new claim.
Automobile insurance fraud also happens when accidents are staged, often in the following ways:
- Intentionally ignoring right of way signs
- Slamming on the brakes for no obvious reason
- Listing witnesses who were not there at the time of accident
- Claiming injuries that were excessive to the severity of the accident
- Causing an accident by giving up the right of way
- Listing passengers who were not in the car at the time.
Those who are in an accident with a driver who is committing insurance fraud may find themselves severely inconvenienced in many ways with large bills to pay. The driver who was not at fault in the incident may be forced to have their own insurance company cover the costs while they battle out the costs and fault, possibly in court.