Auto Insurance Fraud
Automobile insurance fraud in Pennsylvania has historically taken several forms. The most common fraud schemes involve automobile property and automobile accidents.
Automobile Property – This type of fraud most often involves dishonest auto body and repair shops and/or insureds who may employ a variety of illegal or questionable techniques including:
- Reporting parts of vehicles as damaged or lost when in fact they were not damaged or lost prior to the shop receiving the vehicle.
- Making final cost in excess of the original estimate of damage.
- Billing for repairs that were not authorized.
- Charging for genuine parts when after-market or used parts from junkyard were used.
- Pounding out dents or using bondo when charging for brand new auto parts.
- Falsely reporting stolen vehicles or vandalism of vehicles in order to collect insurance monies.
It is always very important for the consumer to review carefully all paper work from auto body and repair shops in order to protect against potential auto insurance fraud. Also, consumers should be cautious of any auto body or repair facility that makes referrals to medical or legal offices. This practice may be an indicator of “capping.” Capping (a felony in Pennsylvania) is the illegal referral of clients to legal offices for a fee.