|By Joe Seelig, Highlands Today, Sebring, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
In order to avoid staged crashes drivers should never tailgate, but should call law enforcement to a crash scene, FHP recommended. Use a camera to document any crash damage and the number of passengers in other vehicles, Bueno said.
Also, avoid people who suddenly appear at a crash scene and try to direct you to doctors or attorneys, he warned. Be wary of physicians who insist you file a personal injury claim after a crash -- especially if you are not hurt.
Lastly, avoid tow trucks that arrive without anyone having called for service. "If you witness a crash, provide details to law enforcement officers," he said.
"Insurance fraud affects the bottom line for all auto insurance policy holders, and educating motorists with information about staged crashes will help to reduce the fraud," said FHP Director Col.
In 2010, it was estimated each driver in
Incidents of staged crashes are not high in
According to the
They were: (1)
"We don't need staged crashes," she quipped. "We have enough other stuff."
But statewide an estimated
"This is a billion dollars of fraud on the citizens of our state," he said.
This is money that should be back in the public's hands, not the hands of someone that's running a clinic or taking advantage of the system..., Scott added.
Many victims do not even know they were victimized.
It defies logic that as automobile accidents have decreased by 8 percent over the past five years, auto insurance rates have skyrocketed for
"One thing is clear:
Fraud associated with staged accidents costs auto insurers millions of dollars in personal injury protection (PIP) claims. A chunk of those losses get passed along to auto policyholders in the form of higher premiums, a story at InsuranceQuotes.com stated.
Pile six people in an automobile, stage a wreck, send each to a medical professional, and a minor fender-bender can wind up costing an auto insurance company
Local insurance companies that were contacted did not go on record for this story.
"This is a big issue and concern to all of those in the auto insurance industry -- we all pay the price," said
To report fraud call a local, county or state law enforcement office.
To report suspicious crash activity, contact the
You also may call the
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