Car Insurance Fraud

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Car Insurance Fraud Are people paying too much for their car insurance? Kentucky's insurance rates are higher in Kentucky as opposed to other places and still rising due to so many people committing insurance fraud. The ways that Kentucky's population commits insurance fraud are plentiful and creative. One type of insurance fraud is purchasing car insurance and after receiving the proof of insurance canceling the policy. Another type of fraud involves staging accidents so that a person can sue the insurance company, and finally terrorizing their own vehicle to collect insurance money, just to name a few.

One type of insurance fraud that occurs frequently is people purchase car insurance and then cancels the policy so they can get a proof of insurance. Caywood offers this opinion, "They shop the market and find where they can make the least down payment because they have no intention of making another payment"(1).

Therefore, the honest people must pay higher rates to make up the difference. The honest people pay higher rates for membership fees and monthly bills to make up for the money lost due to fraud. Since fewer people in the state insure their cars, we are likely to pick up the tab for those people when they are involved in auto accidents.

People are likely to do almost anything when trying to get an insurance company to pick up the tab. An insurance adjuster at Kentucky Farm Bureau said "People stage accidents several different ways, such as waiting at an intersection and hitting an unsuspecting person in the side while having witnesses waiting to swear the other person ran a red-light or stop sign. Others get in front of someone, wait until they follow along too close, and then stop quickly causing the person behind them to rear end them". (Holbrook 1) This is why he said, "Many Kentuckians pay more for auto insurance"(Holbrook 2). The honest people pay for the dishonest mistakes. Why would people risk their lives, as well as an innocent person's life, to collect insurance money? One case that the insurance adjuster recalled from his previous job in Lexington was when this man staged an auto accident. He said, "Some money hungry man waited at an intersection for someone to come through that looked like a "good sucker", and rammed the side of his car. He had people with him so they could be his witnesses, but the car he chose to hit was carrying a three-year-old child who was killed. His mother had failed to buckle him up. The man's witnesses felt guilty and confessed to the crime. The man went to prison for 5 years and was released on probation" (Holbrook 5). This shocked me because the child was three years old, that man should spend his life in prison thinking about the child that he killed. He should have faced maximum punishment for this crime.

Another point brought to public attention by a Kentucky Farm Bureau insurance adjuster was that "There are people who terrorize their own vehicles by vandalism and claiming things were stolen that were not, to collect insurance money. Very few get caught"(Holbrook 3). That leaves paying customers holding the tab. He also said "They sometimes set their vehicles on fire, collect the money, left pay off the old one and buy a new car"(Holbrook4). After hearing this I thought to myself it must be nice to pay off your old vehicle, buy a new car, and probably have money left to pay for insurance again. I am not condoning this. I am just in awe of their nerve. They fraud the company and come out with a new car. I struggle to be honest and pay my way like everyone else should do.

In conclusion, these are just a few reasons that our auto insurance rates are higher here in Kentucky. Insurance crooks are much smarter than we have given them credit for. They obviously know what they are doing to keep getting away with their crimes. We need to remind insurance holders about fraud and enforce the laws surrounding it. When fraud is suspected the claim should not be paid until it is investigated. This will alarm crooks and let them know that fraud will no longer be tolerated.

Work Cited Caywood, Thomas. "Agents Frustrated by Insurance Reform". New Orleans City Business 18.48 (1998) MasterFILE Premier. Article 700070. 23 Apr. 2002. http://www.hazcc.kctcs.net/library/ Holbrook, Jim. Interview. Insurance Fraud. 23 Apr. 2002.