Recognize Staged Car Accidents and Help Prevent Insurance Fraud

Staged accidents are a common type of insurance fraud.

Often, dishonest drivers will manoeuvre into auto crashes. While your car may only suffer minor damages, fraudsters can make large claims for fake injuries or charge your auto insurance company for damage.

The following are some tips on how to avoid becoming the victim of a staged auto accident:

  • Call the police immediately if you’re in an accident
  • Report accident claims to your insurance broker immediately. Don’t settle on-site with cash
  • Use medical, car repair, and legal professionals you know and trust
  • Drive defensively and don’t follow other vehicles too closely.

The best way to protect yourself from staged accident fraud is to drive safely at all times.

The best way to protect yourself after an accident occurs is to take detailed notes and photos. The more information you have, the more equipped you are to fight a fraudulent claim.

When possible, your notes should include driver’s licence numbers, VIN, car insurance information, names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in a crash.

Take A LOT of photos. Even if you don’t think it’s important at the time, it may help prevent headaches in the future. Be sure to get multiple angles and closeups. You should also consider investing in a dash cam.

Accident Scams to Watch For

  • The Drive Down: You’re attempting to merge when another driver waves you forward. Instead of letting you in he slams into your car. The driver will deny ever motioning you.
  • The Swoop and Squat: The first car swoops in while another squats in front of you. After the “accident”, passengers will file bogus injury claims with your insurance company.
  • The T-Bone: You’re crossing an intersection when a car coming from a side street accelerates and hits your car. When the police arrive, the driver and several planted “witnesses” claim that you ran a red light or stop sign.

By comparing as many car insurance companies at once, you’re able to find the best combination of price and coverage that fits your needs. Compare insurance company now by getting a car insurance quote online in minutes.

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Learn how to file an insurance claim the right way

Accidents and natural disasters can strike without warning!

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When this happens, you will have to file an insurance claim in order for your policy to kick in and recoup your losses.

To get the most out of the claims process, consider the following tips:

Call your insurance broker as soon as an incident occurs.

  • The sooner you get the process moving, the better.
  • After you’ve contacted your insurance broker, you can ask the adjuster to come and inspect the damage.

Document your losses before the adjuster comes.

  • Make a thorough list of property that has been impacted by a disaster.
  • Provide purchase receipts, or estimate how much the belongings cost and when you bought them.

Take photographs of the scene.

  • Don’t throw out damaged items before notifying your insurance broker and adjuster.

Above all, it’s important to document the claims process, noting when you speak with your insurance broker and what the conversation entailed.

At Scrivens, we keep detailed notes on every customer interaction.

This helps track the amount of reimbursement you should receive and allows you to keep a record of insurance claims for future use.

Scrivens highly recommends everyone keep a thorough home inventory to help make the claims process run smoothly and quickly. You can download our Home Inventory Checklist in Excel format here.

Preventing Vehicle Rust is a Winter Thing, Too

While dirt on a vehicle is unsightly, it can also wear away your car’s finish and accelerate rusting. This can be expensive, difficult to reverse and even negatively affect your car’s resale value.

Prevent Vehicle Rust
To protect your car against rust, practise the following:

  1. Wash your car often, even during the winter months. Salt that builds up during this time can create holes in the body of your car.
  2. Wax your car from time to time to protect the finish. This can help prevent oxidation that leads to rusting.
  3. Utilize car washes that feature hand-held pressure wands. Pay close attention to the undercarriage during washes, as that’s the primary risk area for rusting.
  4. Address scratches and dents that appear on your vehicle’s body, as they can easily lead to rusting.

Experts recommend that you wash your vehicle at least once a month if possible. Keeping these tips in mind will help preserve the car’s resale value and help you save thousands on body work.

New Car Features That Improve Driver Safety

As vehicle technology advances, consumers have access to a variety of new safety features. The following are just some new technologies to look for the next time you shop for a vehicle:

  • Adaptive headlights: This feature uses information like steering wheel movement and speed to pivot the direction of your headlights, thus improving visibility.
  • Collision monitoring: These systems alert drivers with audio, visual or physical cues when sensing an impending crash.
  • Electronic stability controls: These tools slow individual wheels during turns to help keep a car on course.
  • Onboard cameras: These 360-degree cameras improve visibly when drivers back up or park.
  • Lane assist: These systems detect if your vehicle departs a lane and can even provide corrective action.

Items to Consider Following a Car Accident

A motor vehicle collision can be a stressful experience for everyone involved. To respond appropriately, there are a number of critical post-crash steps you need to keep in mind – steps that can help get your insurance in order or even save a life. Remember to do the following:

  1. Turn off your vehicle and stay on the scene. Only move your vehicle out of the way of traffic if it is safe to do so. If your vehicle cannot be driver, turn on your hazard lights or use cones, warning triangles or flares, as appropriate.
  2. Call the authorities if anyone is injured or there is significant damage to vehicles or public property.
  3. Take photos of the accident.
  4. Record as much information as possible, including your information, the other driver’s information, and a description of the collision.
  5. Inform your insurer of what happened and ask for next steps.

Having appropriate car insurance is vital to limiting stress in the time of a car accident. For example, not everyone considers collision coverage necessary due to the age of the vehicle or don’t include “Loss of Use” coverage which will provide a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.

If you’re unsure of your coverage, it’s best to call or email your insurance representative.

How to Avoid Distractions While Driving

Driver distractions have joined alcohol and speeding as leading factors in crashes that cause fatal and serious injuries. However, cellphones aren’t solely to blame. Anything that takes any of your attention away from driving is a distractions. There are three main types of distractions:

  • Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – Taking your mind off of driving

Sending or reading a text while driving is the equivalent of driving blindfolded for 5 seconds.

Whether driving for work or for personal reasons, it is important to remember that any activity that you engage in while driving is a potential distraction that increases your risk of crashing. Taking the following precautions can help you avoid distractions while driving.

  • Silence your mobile devices and keep them away from you while driving to avoid being distracted by notifications. If you must receive phone calls while on the road, pull over before answering, even if using a hands-free device.
  • Set destinations in GPS devices before you depart.
  • Make a playlist on your phone before you leave to avoid the temptation of selecting songs or changing radio stations.
  • Avoid eating while driving. Take proper breaks to allow yourself time for meals.
  • Speak up if you’re a passenger of a distracted driver. Offer to take over the driving responsibilities.

Using and Maintaining Headlights

Your vehicle’s headlights are an essential part of staying aware of your surroundings on the road. Bright, well-maintained headlights can be the difference between seeing a pedestrian and a fatal crash. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t use or maintain their headlights properly.

You should always turn your vehicle’s headlights on as soon as you get into the driver’s seat. Even if it’s bright outside, your headlights can help pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers see you more easily. Some experts also recommend that drivers always use their headlights’ high beams at night to increase visibility, and to turn them off only when there’s an oncoming vehicle.

It’s always best to check your headlights regularly to ensure they’re clean and aren’t in danger of burning out. Because headlights dim over time, it’s always best to replace them both at the same time in order to create an even field of vision when driving.

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