police car

Vehicle-Related Insurance Fraud

What is it?

A type of property fraud and/or casualty fraud, vehicle insurance fraud is the most common type of insurance fraud that occurs in Virginia. Attempting to make money through false claims of car accidents or accident-related injuries is insurance fraud. It may involve a person damaging their own vehicle, scammers staging a crash or mechanics overcharging for or lying about repairs.

What does it look like?

Some common vehicle-related insurance fraud schemes:

  • Staged crashes or caused accidents, such as intentional sideswiping or cars that cut in front of other vehicles and force collisions
  • Deliberately damaging or burning a car to get out of a lease or payment
  • Repair shops that bill for work that hasn't been done or that uses cheap, inferior replacement parts

How can you help prevent it?

  • Don't tailgate: leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you; following too closely could set you up for a staged accident
  • In the event of an accident, take pictures of damages and road conditions, and make note of license plate numbers and who was involved
  • Have vehicle repair work done by a reputable shop; ask the shop manager to point out all of the replacement parts and show you the parts that were replaced
  • Get a written, itemized estimate for repairs and check the bill carefully
  • If injured in an auto accident, be wary of any person who approaches you and offers to provide you with the name of a doctor or lawyer