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6 Common Auto Insurance Fraud Schemes Other Than Fake Casualty Claims

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6 Common Auto Insurance Fraud Schemes Other Than Fake Casualty Claims

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

As everyone involved in the fight against auto insurance fraud in Michigan knows, Michigan first party or PIP fraud is one of the most prevalent and costly. Beyond the false casualty claims we find a number of other types of auto insurance fraud schemes that are also rampant and very harmful.

Auto Premium Evasion: No one wants to pay more for auto insurance than they have to, but premium evasion is the deliberate falsification of one’s address for the purpose of getting a lower rate. This is a common practice and results in significant loses for insurance carriers. If you are caught evading your premium, your policy will likely be canceled and your money lost.

Towing Scams: These are when tow trucks cruse for broken down vehicles ad render help. Unfortunately they also often over charge and many times will submit claims against your insurance carrier for other services that they did not render.

Windshield Replacement Scams: This is when a windshield repairman shows up in a parking lot and offers to fix you windshield for next to nothing. You will get a new windshield, but most of the time the installation and windshield are poor and in the end they really just want to file multiple claims against your auto insurance carrier.

Insurance Agent Fraud: This is when the agent you buy the policy from keeps your money and pretends that you have coverage. The results can be catastrophic when this happens and someone has a loss but no coverage. This happens far more often than people realize.

Counterfeit Airbags: Like it sounds, this is when a repair shop installs a counterfeit airbag during a repair job. Airbags fetch big money on the open market and the counterfeits may fail to protect you in an accident. Again, this happens way more often than people think.

Staged Accidents: Swoop and Squat, Drive Down, Flag Down and the Enhanced Damage are just a few of these. They are professional accidents and they cost insurance carriers and their insured’s a boat load of money each year. Always document any accident and report suspicious circumstances to your insurance company immediately.

 

Special Authority Needed to Target Auto Insurance Fraud in Michigan

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson assembled a panel to investigate ways to reduce auto insurance fraud in Michigan. The panel determined that the State should create a special authority devoted to targeting auto insurance fraud. This panel also recommended that the state insurance department should have expanded powers to penalize people operating as insurance agents without a license.

Secretary of State Johnson told reporters that in July 2013, 16.1 percent of roughly 3,500 paper certificates presented at secretary of state offices were invalid or phony. A recent snapshot showed 7.6 percent of nearly 2,400 certificates were invalid, she said. “Already what we’ve done and the training and working with law enforcement has made a difference,” Johnson said.

 

More Holiday Travel Expected To Bring More Michigan Auto Accidents And More Fraud

Monday, August 25th, 2014

AAA of Michigan predicts that 34.7 million Americans are expected to travel for the Labor Day holiday. They also indicate that the number of Americans projected to travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend is 1.3% higher than last year. Michigan will see much of that traffic as visitors from out of state come to visit and, as always, we will have a the usual migration of people traveling from Southeastern Michigan to “up north”. More holiday travel is expected to bring more Michigan auto accidents.

Michigan auto accident claims, both first party of auto no-fault claims and bodily injury or third party claims are wonderful at affording people financial relief for medical bills, lost wages and vehicle damages resulting from a Michigan auto accident, but they also bring a massive amount of fraud and embellishment. Auto no-fault fraud is one of the main reasons the Michigan has such high insurance rates. To learn more about how Sherlock Investigations is helping to fight insurance fraud, please visit our services page here.

Detroit is Michigan’s Only City in Top 100 for Auto Theft Claims

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The National Insurance Crime Bureau issues a ranking of the top cities for auto theft called the Hot Spot report. In the 2013 Hot Sort report issued last month, Michigan only had one city in the top 100. Surprise: It’s Detroit coming in at 23. The next closest Michigan city is Flint which came in at 153. One rather shocking element of the report is that 9 of the top 10 cities in this years report are in California. Despite the better than expected placing on the report, Michigan residents and auto insurance carrier face serious loses here in cities like Detroit and Flint. Michigan is also facing serious loses related to fraudulent auto related injury claims which can launch into the six figures in medical costs in a very short time. Sherlock Investigations is a leading private investigative agency here in Michigan and regularly assist in auto theft investigations, interviewing claimant’s and witnesses, verifying service locating, locating and interviewing witnesses and the like. If you work with an auto carrier and need assistance, please contact one of our team. We look forward to helping.

Costly fraud necessitates need for increase Michigan attendant care claims surveillance

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Last month the Louisiana Attorney General’s office charged 20 personal care attendants with insurance fraud as part of Medicare fraud scheme. As more law enforcement attention is being focused on attendant care fraud within the scope of Medicare abuse, in PIP states like Michigan, attendant care fraud and abuse is an ever present part of first party no-fault claims. What is truly troublesome about attendant care fraud and abuse in Michigan is how quickly the attendant care bills can get into the six figures, thus costing auto insurance carriers a significant amount of money which is passed on to everyone who purchases auto insurance.

One of the most effective tools that a first party PIP carrier has in fighting this type of fraud is through the effective use of Michigan attendant care claims surveillance. In these cases, the carrier needs to hire a private investigator who is able to watch either the PIP claimant or the attendant care provider. Often times, these care providers and claimants will over state the amount of care being provided in an effort to defraud the insurance company in small amounts, over and over again. Effective, well planned surveillance performed by expert private investigators will clearly demonstrate exactly what the claimant and the care giver are up to. In Michigan, Sherlock Investigations is the intelligent choice for professional Michigan attendant care claims surveillance.

With Harsh Winter Over, Insurance Claims Surveillance in Michigan Helps Insurers

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

After the harsh winter of 2014, everyone in Michigan is happy to be get outside and get back to living a normal life. This includes those who have file a an auto no-fault (pip) claim alleging they sustained injuries in an auto accident. Within that group, some are filing claims alleging they have injuries when the do not. Others within that group are embellishing their claim to “make some money”. Since insurance carriers have very limited ways to tel if someone is actually injured or not, and since Michigan has so much insurance fraud ongoing, many use insurance claims surveillance, conducted my Michigan private investigators, to try and detect fraud and misrepresentations. Sherlock Investigations is a leader in insurance claims surveillance in Michigan. Insurance claims surveillance is one of the the best way to determine if someone is actually injured or not. It is done in public and it does not involve invading anyone’s privacy.

Redlining Accusations Don’t Reduce Real Michigan PIP Fraud Ongoing Daily in Detroit

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Although it is clearly a great term to use to get people excited about the possibility of some type of discriminatory insurance practices aimed at hurting residents of Detroit, the stark reality is that Detroit is hotbed of Michigan PIP Fraud, particularly in the areas of fraudulent auto no-fault casualty claims as well as auto theft claims. Insurance carriers don’t care about who buys policies from them. The competition is fierce in the Michigan PIP market place. If you think about it, a ridiculous number of the TV commercials and billboards in Metro-Detroit advertise auto insurance. Even more ridiculous is that greater number of  ”Michigan Auto Accident” attorneys looking to help people sue insurance carriers for auto no-fault casualty loses. When one looks at the number of: fraudulent Michigan PIP claims and stolen vehicles in Detroit and combine that with a law enforcement environment that is grossly overburdened and incapable of fighting fraud or theft, the insurance carriers have no choice but to charge more. A whole bunch more.

Property Claims Investigations Begin With Solid Interviews

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Property claims fraud is often viewed as a small time or minor variety of insurance fraud. The policy holder inflates the value of this item a bit, adds one of two things to a stolen property claim; whats the harm in that? The reality is that this type of insurance fraud costs everyone to have to pay much higher premiums for coverage each year.

In the extreme, property claims fraud can be committed by someone over and over for a decade as reported in a recent California case where one claimant is alleged to have orchestrated 65 fraudulent insurance claims.

Although supporting documentation like receipts and police reports are important to the property claims investigations process, interviewing, and claimant interview in particular, is the crucial element of a solid property claims investigation. A properly trained investigator with experience in interviewing is needed to ask the right question in the right way.  When neighborhood canvassing is also required during property claims investigations, again interviewing skill and experience is essential to asking the right questions the right way.

For more information on property claims investigations solutions in Michigan and elsewhere, please call us at 888-989-2800 or check us out on Facebook.

Michigan PIP Claims Surveillance On The Rise This Summer

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

With the improvement in Michigan’s weather and TV commercials for legal representation in first party auto claims at an all time high, smart carriers are increasing their use of Michigan PIP claims surveillance statewide with private investigators. In many instances, when a casualty PIP claim appears to be fraudulent or embellished in some way, carriers are taking advantage of the good weather to document exactly what claimants are actually capable of doing on an average day. When one claims not to be able to return to work or requires replacement services, it is expected that they would not be seen washing their car, going to the fair, planting flowers, playing catch with the kids or any of the other things that normally occur in our lives each summer.  With Michigan PIP Claims surveillance is conducted on the injured policy holder who files a claim for benefits after sustaining injuries in an auto accident. In May and June, Sherlock Investigations has seen a combined 18% increase in requests for Michigan PIP claims surveillance over last year and this increase is coming from a wide variety of carriers.

In the past five years, Michigan PIP claims, or first party claims, have grown substantially and the number of law suits in this space has grown almost exponentially as more attorneys have found this to be a lucrative area to make money in. PIP is also the fastest growing area for insurance fraud in Michigan. Smart carriers are fighting back be increasing their use of Michigan PIP claims surveillance with Sherlock Investigations (Michigan Private Investigators specializing in claims surveillance) on speculative PIP claims.

New Scam Costing All Michigan Drivers $108 A Year

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Lansing area NBC affiliate wilx.com reports on the damaged being caused by ever increasing number of fraudulent auto no-fault claims being submitted to Michigan insurance carriers. Of course, those cost are being passed on to the consumers in the form of even higher insurance premiums.

Report by Hannah Saunders