Car insurance fraud on the rise


It is so secret that desperate people do desperate things.

 Just as foreclosures on homes are are rising, an increasing number of Americans are also finding them self saddled with loan payments on luxury cars they can no longer afford. As a result of years of “Easy loans” and “Too good to pass up offers” many people bought expensive autos with little or no money down.

In a slow economy with a glut of new and used cars that dealers are having a difficult time selling, the value of these luxury cars have fallen off dramatically. The result of this decline in values means for many the amount they owe on the car is greater than the auto’s value. This leaves many people with cars they can not afford to own, but also can’t afford to sell . The real force that often pushes people over-the-edge is when their car experiences a break-down requiring an expensive repair. This can result in a person finding them selves witha car that has a resale value thousands of dollars less than the remaining finance balance, and now they need to lay-out $2,500 for a major repair. 

The problem is particularly acute in Las Vegas, where sharp declines in tourism and construction have left thousands of workers unemployed,broke, and desperate. But cities like Chicago, and all over Illinois are also experiencing the same problems.

As I said before, Desperate situations often result in desperate acts.  There are some that see no way out of their delima other than to report their auto as stolen hoping that their insurance company will pay the loss and in turn; releive them of the burden of the car.  Authorities report a growing number of cars are being dumped in the Great Lakes, and being found burned along roadsides .

A word of warning if you’re considering carrying out any such plan…….  Don’t.

Insurance companies are getting much better at discovering these kinds of scams. First your company is likely to check for evidence that could “Raise red flags”. Facts like have you recently lost your job, is the value of the car low relative to the amount financed, are you behind on your payments.  More often when they recover the car (Perhaps stripped and a total loss) they can determine if the car was last driven with a key, and if there was prior damage and or mechanical problems.

The chance that you’ll get away with such a SCAM is far less than it was in years past. Insurance companies “Cracking-down” on these kinds of crimes, have help bring down car insurance costs. More and more insurance companies are taking a very hard line; meaning ,if you get caught you will probably end up being prosecuted criminally, not just having your claim denied.

Larry Lubell

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