A California auto insurance agency recently
staged a car crash event in Glendale, California to help local law enforcement officers
identify insurance fraud. Insurance fraud may seem like a victimless crime to those that
perpetrate it, but it causes auto insurance rates to rise for everyone. In fact, the higher
rates caused by fraudulent activity are extremely impactful, causing honest Californians
to pay an extra of $15 billion annually.
You read that correctly. In the state of California alone, $15 billion are lost to insurance
fraud, and Mercury Insurance, the insurance agency behind this event, is working to
lower that number as much as possible by arming local police with the knowledge and
experience they need to identify and prevent fraudulent activity.
National Director of Special Investigations for Mercury Insurance Dan Bales was
present at the event, overseeing the crashes and explaining the event to the press. He
asserted that there is a clear and noticeable difference between a real collision and a
staged one, and that it’s extremely important for law enforcement to know the
The event, sponsored by Mercury Insurance, showed multiple car accidents of varying
severity and allowed insurance investigators and adjusters to examine the scene and
learn how to spot insurance fraud in a hands-on setting. The most common signs of
insurance fraud are often the most apparent, and this event served to help officials
identify red flags.
Glendale law enforcement was also in attendance at the event, and since police are
usually the first at the scene of an accident, it’s important that they know the signs of
insurance fraud. Since they see the accident immediately after it happens, they have a
higher chance of spotting fraudulent behavior before evidence can be tampered with.
These demonstrations serve to benefit both the insurance industry and consumers,
since consumers are forced to cover the cost of insurance scammers looking for a quick
and easy buck. The cost of fraud is added onto the premiums of all consumers, and the
average Californian consumer ends up paying between $400 and $700 annually to
cover the costs of fraudulent activity.
Fraud is a growing epidemic in the United States, costing American consumers over
$80,000 each and every year. As that number continues to rise, insurance companies
like Mercury Insurance must fight against scammers for the good of not only consumers
but businesses and society as a whole. Anyone can be a victim of insurance fraud at
any time, and as it continues to grow, car insurance premiums will rise, robbing innocent
and honest consumers of hundreds of dollars annually. If this trend is allowed to
continue, American consumers will soon be paying over $1,000 on average annually.
American insurance fraud ruins lives, costs individuals hard-earned money, and can
jeopardize the health, lives, and property of anyone that relies on any kind of insurance.
Do your part and help law enforcement officials and insurance workers spot fraud, and
don’t be tempted to exaggerate your insurance claims. This is not a victimless crime.
How do you think insurance fraud can be stopped? Have you ever been a victim of
insurance fraud or scamming? Share your experiences in the comments and help other
readers prevent future theft.