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Avoid Auto Insurance Scams

The cost of auto insurance has on average risen through the years, for many different reasons. One of the reasons for auto policies steadily getting more expensive is the cost taken on by insurers of dealing with fraudsters and scam artists. These criminals cost everybody money, from the insurance companies trying to deliver a product at a competitive price to the consumer working hard to make ends meet each month and keep up with financial obligations.

Drivers and auto insurance policy holders have to always be on the lookout for scam artists trying to take advantage of them. These con artists play on our fears and our desire to save money and reduce the cost of our policies. There are some common scams these days, some of which have become more sophisticated through the use of modern technology such as the internet. Know what to look for and learn how you can avoid these auto insurance scams. Don't be victimized by someone whose unscrupulous intentions attempt to play upon your fears.

Scams to Look Out For

With the advent of online technology, the possibility of running large scams without getting caught has created a new class of insurance criminals. There are different incarnations of the cons they try to pull on people, and different individuals running these scams operate in different ways, so it impossible to generalize in a way that usefully describes all of them. However, there are some common examples which taken together paint a picture of some of the most used techniques among scammers.

It is never a good idea to entertain door to door insurance salespeople. For one thing, any consumer can get their insurance needs met either online or by simply visiting their local agent, so there is no need to do business with someone selling insurance products door to door. These individuals may be scam artists trying to gain access to your personal information such as your checking account or credit accounts, or your social security number. Again, there is never a good reason to use a door to door sales person for insurance even if they are legitimate because you can buy these products in a secure environment online or at an agency.

Insurance companies themselves are sometimes guilty of running a version of the bait and switch scam. They hook the unsuspecting consumer into signing on with them by selling them on a cheap policy offering lower premiums than any they've found anywhere else. But once they have a deposit in hand, the truth about the policy comes out. Usually it is not the same coverage the consumer was getting quotes for from the other companies. High deductibles and substantial exclusions are common, with the company offering to adjust the coverage to what the driver had in mind all along, for a price. These practices do not just occur with fly by night companies; sometimes legitimate insurers try these practices to lure consumers their way. Always be wary of extremely low prices, and never accept a policy without checking it carefully against the specifications you requested for limits and deductibles.

Always Check an Insurer's Legitimacy

Whether you're dealing over the phone or online, there exists a risk that the insurer you are working with is either not a legitimate company or isn't licensed to do business where you live. Always check with your state insurance department if there is ever any question about the legitimacy of a company. The proliferation of online resources has made it even easier for overseas companies to falsify virtual domestic offices and draw people in to transactions resulting in illegitimate coverage or none at all. If you have any reason to suspect that something is not quite on the up and up with a company, let the proper authorities know. They may even have insight for you on previous tips they have gathered. The best bet for any of us is to avoid any company except for nationally known businesses with solid reputations and strong brand names.

Protect Yourself as a Consumer

Consumers should always be on the lookout for these sorts of auto insurance scams. Do not deal with any company you don't have complete confidence in, no matter how appealing their sales pitch might be. Look over every quote you receive with care to make sure none of the ones you are considering contain any hidden fees for services that are supposedly included in the price. And be wary of repair shops an insurer refers customers to. There are many reasons these shops get referrals from insurers, and not all of them are good ones. A healthy dose of skepticism is in order whenever making choices on auto insurance representation. The low price may not be the best price every time.

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