insurance

6 shadiest auto insurance fraud schemes

Agent fraud
Agent fraud © Lane V. Erickson/Shutterstock.com

Most agents are honest, but if you buy your auto insurance coverage through an agent who isn't on the up and up, it can cost you.

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud says one of the worst-case scenarios involves a shady agent who just steals your premiums outright. The unscrupulous agent pockets your money but doesn't actually set up the coverage, so when an accident occurs, you find that you have no insurance to pay your claim and must cover the loss on your own.

To avoid premium theft, drivers should work with trusted agents and always verify their coverage independently with the carrier.

Also common is a practice known as "sliding," in which an unethical agent slips extra coverage that you didn't want into your policy. This particularly sneaky form of auto insurance fraud can add a few hundred dollars a year to your premiums while padding the agent's commission.

Vigilant drivers who investigate their agents ahead of time and keep a close eye on what they're buying won't fall victim to sliding scams.

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