It’s understandable how it happens. You searched around for cheap car insurance and decided to go with a small, lesser-known company. You’ve been paying the premium for years and just went to file a claim for the first time. Unfortunately after waiting days for a response, you find out that there is no coverage.
You’ve been the victim of auto insurance fraud, duped by a phony policy. Here’s what you need to know in order to spot fake car insurance.
Take These Precautions:
- Check All Documentation
This is a given. You should always read over everything in your policy, even when it’s from a well-regarded company. Check your insurance card carefully. If your policy is legitimate, you’ll receive some type of declaration page within a few days that documents all of the coverage details. If you haven’t received this by mail or digitally, then you may want to double-check on your policy’s.
Always research your car insurance company before purchasing a policy. Your state insurance department can tell you if the company is licensed to do business in the state.
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- Check Your Agent’s License Number
When working with an insurance agent, you can find out from your state insurance department if they are a licensed agent. You can often verify the agent’s licensing on your state’s insurance website. The extra time it takes is worth it.
Fake Car Insurance Cards:
There are hundreds of fake car insurance cards out there. Some people download fraudulent auto insurance cards, thinking that it will help them avoid fines if they are stopped by the police and don’t have state-required auto insurance. Most states now have electronic verification systems that can check within seconds whether or not you have car insurance, without even looking at an identification card. Fabricating a car insurance card is a felony.
If you have a car insurance card that you’re wary of, look carefully. Any misspellings or typos are a pretty clear signifier that something else might be going on. If the policy sounds too good to be true, be suspicious. Look for conventional elements such as policy number, vehicle identification number, or in certain states, barcodes. Be vigilant and look for associations. Smaller companies sell good insurance, but if your auto insurance card has a strange or unfamiliar name, you may want to do some research.
I Bought a Fake Policy, What Now?
- Pay Up
Chances are if you didn’t find out about the fake car insurance policy until you filed a claim for an accident, then you’ll be stuck with the costs. You may also be hit with a penalty for driving without insurance.
- Get Real Coverage ASAP
Get the coverage you need right away. You may face higher rates if you were uninsured for a period of time.
- Report It
Report fraudulent policies to your state insurance department. Not only will you be helping protect others from the same fate, but you’ll likely receive helpful advice for your situation.