While we are all proud of where we live, there are some categories in which we do not want to be number one. One of those would be “questionable insurance claims;” instances where someone files a claim on their auto insurance or other insurance policy using information they know to be inaccurate. And unfortunately, California leads the nation in that respect.
Questionable Auto Insurance Claim Statistics
Questionable claims have been rising nationwide for three straight years. According to a new report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of questionable claims went from 91,652 in 2010 to a whopping 116,171 in 2012. Furthermore, many of those claims were auto insurance claims; a full three-fourths of all questionable claims were made on personal auto policies with bodily injury, theft, collision, personal injury protection, and other automobile claims making up the top five most commonly abused policies within the insurance industry.
Still, the bad news is that California accounts for 21,935 or 18.9% of those questionable claims. Not even the state of New York comes close to that, and New York City had the most questionable claims of any one city. So why does California rank so high in this respect? And what can the honest drivers of the Golden State do combat this trend?
Part of the reason is simply the number of residents; California, New York, Texas, and Florida are the four most populated states in the US, and they are also the four states with the highest rates of questionable insurance claims. Educating people on the impact of insurance fraud may help to reduce the number of questionable claims in the state.
Innocent Driver, Guilty Mechanic
One common problem with questionable claims is “padding.” Padding occurs when someone files a legitimate claim, but with the overall costs exaggerated. The worst part is that you may not be the one doing the exaggerating; mechanics and doctors can be just as likely to commit a “padding” offense, but you are the one who will face the consequences if the numbers do not add up.
While California’s percentage of uninsured and underinsured drivers has been dropping it is still at 14.4%. If an unethical motorist who has an uninsured driver policy is involved in a wreck, there have been many situations in which they may take the opportunity to exaggerate claim costs thereby filing a fraudulent claim.
As with most things that have a monetary value, there are people looking to take advantage of you. Not surprisingly, personal injury from an automobile accident was the biggest source of questionable claims. That is because people that perpetuate claim fraud have been known to pack into a car, look for a driver, often an older driver or a young woman, and do their best to get hit. Then, they will saddle the innocent driver with personal injury claims for each person in the car.
What is the best way to avoid this? First of all, drive safely. Secondly, document everything when you are involved in an auto accident, and if something seems off to you, inform your insurance company immediately so they can investigate.
Mitigating Questionable Auto Insurance Claims – What We Can Do
If we all pitch in, we can help bring down the number of questionable claims within the state of California. Ultimately, that means cheaper rates for all of us. To find your best insurance rate and the best coverage, contact Auto Insurance Specialists today.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. Auto Insurance Specialists, LLC makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.