The major recession that began in 2008 has had a profound effect on the auto industry, and even insurance companies have paid a heavy price for the downturn. While legitimate insurance claims have shrunken a bit since fewer jobs mean fewer motorists on the road, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) claims that fraudulent claims from staged accidents jumped 46 percent from 2007 to 2009.
While we're sure there are a lot of folks out there who aren't too fond of insurance companies, staged accidents are different in that they involve innocent victims who were otherwise obeying the law. Worse, these accidents could result in injuries or even death. In a press release (available after the jump), the NICB calls staged accidents "dangerous criminal events that target innocent drivers with increasingly bold schemes aimed at defrauding insurance companies out of millions of dollars."
Florida leads all states in staged accidents by a large margin, with 3,006 in 2009. New York came in second with 1,680, followed by California, Texas and Illinois. New York City is the top offender by city, but Florida again leads with three offending cities in the top five. The NICB created seven videos demonstrating some of the many techniques criminals use staged accidents to bilk insurance companies. They're not particularly high-quality, but they do get the message across.
The top five states that generated the most staged accident QCs were: (1) Florida, 3,006; (2) New York, 1,680; (3) California, 1,619; (4) Texas, 792; and (5) Illinois, 433.
The five cities that generated the most staged accident QCs were: (1) New York City, 1,304; (2) Tampa, 562; (3) Miami, 511; (4) Orlando, 422; and (5) Houston, 376.
Staged accidents are dangerous criminal events that target innocent drivers with increasingly bold schemes aimed at defrauding insurance companies out of millions of dollars. Unless someone becomes suspicious, many of these staged accidents go undetected. NICB has created a series of videos demonstrating some of the most common types of staged accidents. They can be viewed here: https://www.nicb.org/multimedia/staged-videos/staged-accident-videos.
Consumers should visit https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/brochures to review our library of valuable theft and fraud awareness information where they can find a specific brochure describing staged accident fraud. It's free and it just might help prevent you from falling victim to fraud scams.
The complete staged accident questionable claims report is also available at www.nicb.org.