June 4, 2010

Steer Clear Of These 3 Auto Insurance Scams

Scam artists operate in every industry and insurance is no exception. Preying on well-intentioned, uninformed people is how they make a fast buck and move on to their next mark. The best way to protect yourself from auto insurance scams is to know what to watch out for. The following three swindles all involve using cheap insurance rates as the draw.

Scam 1

Incredibly cheap insurance is advertised and it is hard to resist getting an auto insurance quote. The quote seems legitimate and the first low-cost premium is paid. Within a month or two, a letter is received stating that you owe more money. Due to a “company rate error,” you now owe hundreds more for your car insurance. Large, reputable insurance companies do not perpetrate this type of double-cross. To avoid being taken in, contact the Better Business Bureau about companies before taking advantage of offers that sound too good to be true.

Scam 2

An individual posing as an insurance agent or broker offers to arrange low-rate insurance for a fee. You provide your driving history, as you would when applying for any auto insurance quote. The “agent” then impersonates you but lies to the insurance company to get a lower rate. You pay the premium and are none the wiser. The problem is that the insurance is not valid since fraud was committed to secure the policy. Insurance agents and brokers do not charge fees to provide insurance quotes. Steer clear of those who do.

Scam 3

The gimmick with the third rip off is free insurance. This free insurance is offered for a specific period of time. Getting something for nothing is hard to turn down and this is no exception. You apply for an auto insurance quote. The quote is reasonable and looks like a good deal. You are then asked to wire or transfer funds to pay for the insurance. There may be a request that you deliver cash to someone. Beware of this auto insurance scam. There is no insurance involved. It is not an insurance industry practice to ask for payment by wire, transfer or cash. Being asked to pay in this manner is a red flag. Investigate the company further.

There will always be underhanded individuals looking for a way to make a fast buck. Do not be duped by these nefarious crooks. When shopping for insurance, check the A.M. Best rating for the companies you like. This rating reflects the financial strength of insurance companies. Strong companies do not resort to deception to sell insurance. Doing business with financially robust, reputable companies will guarantee that you don’t fall victim to auto insurance scams.