It was reported at Bankrate.com that fraud is an element in one out of every 3 auto insurance claims in New York City! That is incredible and officials say that this fraud adds an estimated $241 million to premiums every year. New York City is not alone. The article reported that the top five states for auto insurance fraud are California, Florida, Texas, New York and Maryland.
Is it no wonder that insurance company claims adjusters are always looking for red flags? When there is something that makes the adjuster question the legitimacy of a claim, they often call an investigator in on the case.
A vehicle accident investigation can result in determining one of the following staged crashes has occurred:
- Wave down: requires two vehicles and one waves a driver out of a parking lot or onto the street while the other crashes into the vehicle as it pulls out.
- Swoop and squat: Two vehicles trap a victim between their cars and cause a rear-end collision.
- Drive down: The victim is waiting to make a left turn and the bad guy waves him out early, then collides with him.
- Enhanced damages: The driver who is not at fault causes additional damage to his vehicle to increase the claim amount.
Many times in auto claims, there is also a personal injury claim being made. So when International Investigators is called into a vehicle accident investigation, we know by experience that there is a strong potential for a personal injury investigation, too.
Insurance fraud investigations can be complicated, but patterns emerge that lead us to one of the scenarios noted above. Anyone can become a victim of staged crashes, but bad guys especially prey on the vulnerable such as women driving solo or senior citizens.
In one case, an elderly woman kept saying, “But he waved at me to pull out and then he just hit me.”
The culprit rolled his eyes at the police officer and made it known that “this old lady must be confused. You know how old people are.”
Once an investigator was on the case, it was determined that this “confused old lady” wasn’t confused at all. The bad guy had previously been involved in several other crashes that played out similarly.
International Investigators has experienced insurance fraud investigators working with insurance companies and attorneys nationwide to get to the truth in vehicle accidents and the personal injury claims that accompany those crashes.
Our vehicle accident investigations are extensive, thorough and efficient. We know what to look for and how to get the facts straight.
-T. Wilcox, CEO, International Investigators