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Insurance organization helps motorists identify staged accidents

Posted On Mon, April 25, 2011

Auto insurance fraud is a major problem on America's roadways, costing policyholders billions of dollars every year in increased premiums. To help curb this trend, the Insurance Information Institute is arming motorists with some tips on what to look for to avoid becoming a victim of a staged accident.

"Staged auto accidents are a dangerous criminal activity that targets innocent drivers with increasingly bold schemes aimed at defrauding insurance companies," said Loretta Worters, vice president with the III. "Not only do honest policyholders ultimately end up paying more for auto insurance, but those committing the fraud can cause serious injuries or death."

III says a motorist's best defense is familiarizing themselves with staged accident scenarios, like the swoop and squat, side swipe, panic stop and drive down. According to information collected from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, III says the drive down occurs when the fraudster waves someone into oncoming traffic, then speeds up and hits the unassuming driver once he or she has merged.

While virtually every state has seen its fair share of staged accidents, auto insurance fraud is booming in Florida. The NICB reports the state has seen a 119 percent rise in questionable claims since January 2008. 

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