The majority of automotive insurance fraud arrests in Pennsylvania involve:

  • staged auto accidents and false claims of injury
  • false reports of stolen vehicles
  • false claims that an accident happened after a policy or coverage was purchased
  • false claims for damage that already existed
  • claimants who concealed that a person excluded from coverage by their policy was driving at the time of the accident

Examples

Here are a few typical scenarios to illustrate some of the different ways automotive insurance fraud can be committed:

Susan was driving without insurance and had an accident. When she applied for insurance, she lied. She said she’d had no accidents. Then she filed a claim saying that her car had been damaged, lying that the accident happened after the policy took effect.
When Howard purchased his policy, he admitted his adult son Trevor lived with him but didn’t have a valid driver’s license. So Trevor was listed on the policy as an “excluded driver.” Howard’s policy was clear that the insurance company would not pay any claim for loss or injury if Trevor was operating the vehicle at the time of an accident. But after Trevor crashed Howard’s car into a telephone pole, Howard submitted a claim and lied by saying he was driving.
After Mickey’s car was rear-ended, he didn’t feel so hot. But he exaggerated the extent of his injuries saying his neck and back hurt and went for medical treatment he knew he didn’t really need in order to get a larger settlement from the insurance company.
The transmission on Joan’s SUV was shot and mechanics told her it would cost $4,000 to fix. She couldn’t sell the SUV and still owed the bank $2,500 on her auto loan. She gave her keys to a “friend” to get rid of the SUV for her and reported to the police and her insurance company that the SUV had been stolen — so the insurance company would pay off her auto loan.

To view a TV spot from the prevention campaign that addresses the issue of automotive insurance fraud‚ click here.

To view the billboard from the prevention campaign that addresses the issue of automotive insurance fraud‚ click here.

To download a brochure from the prevention campaign that explains the issue of automotive insurance fraud, click here.

Consequences

Automotive insurance fraud is a serious crime. As with all other types of insurance fraud‚ Pennsylvania considers it a felony. Violators can spend up to seven years in prison and spend up to $15‚000 in fines. There are also many other associated expenses such as court costs and legal fees. Plus‚ those found guilty of insurance fraud have the stigmas and limitations of being a convicted felon to carry with them for life.