The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that fraudulent claims increase the average household's insurance cost by more than $300 a year. Avoid becoming a victim. Find out what insurance fraud is, what Nationwide is doing to prevent it and how to protect yourself.
What is insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud is the second most costly white-collar crime in America. It ranges from normally honest people bending the truth to organized crime rings. Insurance fraud can include:
- Giving false information on an insurance application to get coverage or a lower premium rate
- Inflating or padding an automobile claim to get a higher payment or to cover a deductible
- Making a false claim of stolen or damaged property, or overstating the worth of items
- Staging automobile accidents that result in false injury claims
- Having someone steal or burn a car to collect insurance money or to avoid expensive repairs or payments
What is Nationwide doing about insurance fraud?
Our insurance fraud prevention strategy includes:
- Deterring fraud before it happens by making sure all information on applications is correct
- Dedicating a team, our special investigation unit, to fight insurance fraud
- Donating leading-edge technology to many law enforcement agencies to help reduce auto theft, and investing in technology to detect potentially false claims
- Partnering with anti-fraud groups such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, as well as law enforcement agencies and other groups
You can help prevent insurance fraud
If you know or suspect someone is committing insurance fraud, speak up. Contact our anonymous fraud hotline at 1-800-4RIPOFF (1-800-474-7633) anytime, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protect yourself against insurance fraud
Nationwide and the National Insurance Crime Bureau suggest a few simple steps to increase your insurance fraud protection:
- Call the police to report any accident, and obtain a police report with the officer's name, even if there's only minor damage. This makes it harder for criminals to intentionally damage a car after the fact to try to collect a larger claim.
- Use a disposable camera or camera phone to document any accident damage and the number of passengers in other vehicles.
- Record the details of the accident, including names, addresses, license plate and driver's license numbers, witnesses and anything else that may be important.
- Don't tailgate. Criminals sometimes take advantage of tailgating to stage a collision.
- Avoid people who suddenly appear at an accident scene and try to direct you to doctors and attorneys.
- Be wary of physicians who insist you file a personal injury claim after an accident, especially if you're not hurt.
- Report the accident to your insurance company as quickly as possible – even if you aren't at fault.
Learn more about insurance fraud
Nationwide is a charter member of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a national advocacy organization of consumer groups, public interest organizations, government agencies and insurers. For more information about insurance fraud and how to protect yourself, visit insurancefraud.org.