Unfortunately dishonest people use illegal ways of getting money from insurance companies by causing intentional ‘accidents.’ These staged accidents can be used for claims against their own insurance or even your provider. Here’s how to identify and protect yourself from staged accidents.
Types of Staged Accidents
One type of staged accident is called the Panic Stop. This scam begins with a vehicle that pulls in front of you. A passenger of the vehicle or even the driver will then watch for you to be distracted. That’s when they will hit their brakes, resulting in a rear-end collision. Often the occupant OR occupants will claim physical injury such as whiplash or back pain, on top of the damage to the vehicle.
Another staged accident is the Drive Down. This could be attempted in a few scenarios, so be aware. One way is when you’re attempting to merge into traffic and you’re waved into proceeding. That other motorist will then hit your car and deny waving you into traffic. This is also being done in parking lots.
The Swoop And Squat is a bit more complex. It involves two vehicles causing a collision. The swoop car will move in front of you, then the squat car will be in front of them. The squat car will hit its brakes, causing the swoop car to do the same. If following too closely, the victim will hit the swoop car. The squat car will then drive off, leaving the impression there were only two vehicles involved.
How To Guard Yourself
The best way to protect yourself from collision is to keep your distance with other vehicles. This can’t always be done with the above scenarios, but trusting your gut and staying clear of suspicious vehicles is a smart choice.
With the Drive Down, it is best to wait until traffic is safely clear for proceeding into traffic or parking. Even though we want to believe people are being helpful, waving us in, it is wise to make that move only when it is safe.
Another safeguard is a dash cam. Investing in this technology can help with bogus insurance claims. And our autos are becoming more and more advanced with computers that help to monitor and record such incidents.
The Good News
Insurance companies are aware of these attempts at fraud and are cracking down. Because of these staged events, premiums rose for everyone, not just victims.
If you are suspicious of an accident being intentional, you need to collect as much information as possible, including photos of the scene and personal information of the people involved. Once that is done, express your concern with your insurance provider.