Florida Leads Nation in Car Insurance Fraud
Car insurance fraud in Florida is a huge problem. More auto insurance fraud occurs in Florida than any other state - over $80 million worth in 2011 alone, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Some criticize Florida's no-fault auto accident laws, claiming the law makes it easy for criminals to stage accidents for insurance payouts. Learn more about Florida car insurance fraud in our guide below.
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UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021
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Insurance fraud hits every driver where it hurts the most: the cost of his or her car insurance policy premiums. These costs are especially high on residents of Florida, as it now leads the nation in auto insurance fraud, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The NICB is a non-profit organization that receives support from nearly 1,000 property and casualty insurance companies that has a stated mission is to help identify, detect and prosecute those who commit criminal acts involving insurance.
Just how big an impact do Florida drivers take due to auto insurance fraud? More than $80 million in 2011, says NICB. Some criticize Florida’s no-fault auto accident law as making it easy for criminals to stage accidents for cashing in on insurance payouts. Florida’s law has a personal injury protection feature that requires insurers to pay up to $10,000 per occupant of a car, no matter who caused or is responsible for the accident.
While $80 million is a large amount of money, the impact on individual drivers and policy owners is approximately $50 added on to their annual premium, at least in 2010. For 2011, that amount is expected to increase to $83 added to every insurance premium. Considering there are more than 11 million drivers in Florida, the total costs for car insurance fraud in that state may soon pass $1 billion each year.
How Can You Spot Insurance Fraud in Florida?
Nobody wants to pay higher insurance rates than they have to. It’s one thing if you got in an accident because you ran a stop light. It’s another if you’re paying more just because you live in an area with more fraud. Consumer complaints don’t make these fees go away. So how do you recognize insurance fraud when you’re on the road?
These staged accidents come in two distinct forms. One version uses two cars, where all the occupants are in on the operation. The other version sees criminals targeting innocent drivers as their victims taking advantage of their collision coverage and sometimes injuring them while causing financial losses. They file claims with insurance carriers, and victims don’t know the difference.
The following graphic shows the top five cities in Florida for auto insurance fraud, and the number of confirmed staged accidents that took place in each of them in 2009:
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How Can You Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates?
Whether you live in Florida, Michigan, California, or somewhere in between, you can probably lower your auto insurance rates. Some people raise their deductible or lower their coverage. When you run insurance quotes online, you can compare companies to make sure you’re getting the best rates on the coverage you have now. Then you can make adjustments to get the cheapest car insurance and coverage you need. Just enter your zip code and get started today to get the lowest rates that make sense for you.