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Avoid Insurance Fraud At All Costs
The current economic crisis has resulted in tough times for most consumers. Consumers have been put under increased financial pressure and this has led to greater temptation to use car and home insurance claims to obtain extra money. Insurance companies have not stood by idly.
Insurers have responded to this perceived increase in fraud by demanding additional information from policyholders and in some cases interrogating them. This additional information is often quite confidential in nature and is not supplied willingly by policyholders. Examples of this information are bank statements, financial records, phone records and particulars about the policyholder's movements prior to incidents.
Insurers believe that they are entitled to request this information as most policies state that they have the right to 'additional information which is of vital importance' to fairly settling insurance claims. Consumers on the other hand point to their constitutional right to privacy in order to counter such requests. Disputes often lead to lawsuits or lengthy investigations by the insurance ombudsman, but the best way to avoid such situations is to be honest and to supply accurate information to your insurer from the start.
If an incident occurs, like a car accident or the theft of your vehicle, provide an accurate and complete account of what transpired and do not try to hide or neglect to mention information in the hope of improving your chances of filing a successful claim.
Insurance companies become very suspicious when policyholders contradict or change the information regarding incidents. An example of this is a real-life incident where a policyholder initially reported that a car accident occurred at 7pm, but then later changed the time to 9pm. Finally the policyholder stated that it occurred at 2am, by which time the insurance company had become suspicious. Insurance fraud investigators contacted another person who had been involved in the accident and this person confirmed that the accident had occurred at 2am and that the policyholder had failed to stop after the accident. The insurance company then suspected that the policyholder had been drinking before the accident and had tried to conceal this fact by changing the time of the accident. In order to establish the policyholder's whereabouts before the accident, they requested that he supply them with his call records from his cell phone. The policyholder refused to supply these records and the insurer rejected his claim based on his unwillingness to supply information that was of vital importance to the claim.
Insurance companies will check information that policyholders supply against the records kept by the police, ambulance services and others involved in accidents. If discrepancies are found then insurance companies become suspicious and launch further investigations.
Another example of policyholders changing the details of what transpired is a man who reported that his car had been stolen while he was watching a movie at a mall. It was later discovered that the vehicle had been stolen almost immediately after he had parked his car. He falsely reported that he had only noticed the theft after watching a movie because he thought it would be more believable and help expedite his claim.
It is vital that you never try to anticipate what information your insurance company wants and change the details of what transpired in order to 'help things along'. Always give truthful and accurate information. If your insurer finds a discrepancy in your account of the incident, they will perceive your claim as possibly being fraudulent.
Article Source: Articles For Knowledge Sharing
About the Author
Stuart Broad is a marketer at InsuranceHound.co.za and has vast experience in the insurance industry. He recommends that consumers shop around for Affordable Insurance and car insurance quotes and learn about annuity like AIG and Old Mutual.
by: Stuart Broad
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Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2010 -
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