Avoiding Car Insurance Scams

Car insurance scams are a reality. These scams were designed to make you look guilty and not only impact your insurance provider but you too. Think of the excess you'll have to pay and the inevitable premium hike. With this in mind, it is clear why it is so important to be vigilant when driving on South African roads.

What follows are some of the most common car insurance scams and how to avoid them.

  • The crash for cash. This one happens more often than you'd think and it is quite ingenious when you consider how simple and effective it is. This is usually how it goes: You're cruising along at a leisurely pace when all of a sudden you find yourself having crashed into the car that was driving in front of you. How is this possible? What happened? Easy. The person in front of you just slammed on the brakes and they did not do so to make an emergency stop, but rather to make you look guilty, and so, get a big fat cheque from your insurance provider.

    How to avoid this scam: Keep a safe following distance and be aware of the traffic situation ahead of you and you will avoid becoming a victim of this scam. What is a safe following distance? Two to three seconds is the general rule. Note a point on the road ahead of you and after the vehicle in front of you has passed it, start counting: one thousand and one, one thousand and two, one thousand and three. If you pass the point before you finish counting, you need to slow down.

  • The smile and wave. You are standing at an intersection and the person who has the right of way waves you into traffic and then crashes into you. Was it a misunderstanding? No, it wasn't.

    How to avoid this scam: Always stick to the 'right of way'rules of the road.

  • The passenger who wasn't there. You crash into another carand, afterwards, you find out that a personal injury claim has been filed for a passenger you can't remember being there. Do you know why you can't remember the passenger being there? Yes, you've guessed it! They weren't.

    How to avoid this scam: After an accident, make a point of counting the number of passengers and assess if they've sustained any injuries. Mention all of this in the police report that you file. It is also suggested that you take as many photos of the scene that you can, including images of the people who were involved in the accident.

  • By being aware of these scams and by following the aforementioned tips, you will be able to avoid becoming a victim. And, well done for reading this article, because you've probably just saved your car insurance provider and yourself a lot of money.

    MiWay is a direct, short-term insurance provider offering a range of value-for-money insurance products. As well as motor, household and homeowners insurance, there are also add-on products such as warranty cover and liability cover. Struggling with debit order payments? Check out this extract from the MiWay e-Book A Dummy’s Guide to Owning A Car.

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