Insurance fraud.

A helpful tip that could save you from getting in a lot of trouble.

After 21 years appraising tens of thousands of automobiles with all kinds of damage, on occasion I have had claims where people said their damage was a result of hit and run. But in fact when I viewed the vehicle, my opinion was they hit a pole, support column or other fixed object.

This type of damage from poles or underground parking support pillars produce damage that is usually not seen in a typical vehicle vs vehicle collision.

This car below hit an underground parking support column. Notice the damage is almost to the bottom of the door and to the top of the door. The mirror was also damaged, it doesn’t show in this shot. Also notice the deep gouges in the metal and the plastic door moulding is scraped deep. This is typical of hitting concrete.

When you have an accident, be sure to tell the truth, any experienced appraiser can tell if the damage was caused as described by the owner of the vehicle. If the appraiser is suspicious, he/she will also send a report in telling the insurance company that they suspect it is not hit and run.  The insurance company may send out a field adjuster to do a scene investigation at the location of the supposed hit and run looking for paint transfers on fixed objects.  Or if they end up covering your claim, giving you the benefit of the doubt, they will flag your claim as suspicious.

There is another thing that happens when I seen these questionable hit and run vehicles, the owners act strange. Ether becoming very talkative trying to distract me while I write down the damage or they walk away from the auto completely.  People who are telling the truth about a hit and run act normal.

There is another area where people try to get a complete paint job on their auto after it has been vandalized with a key scratch.  Normally all the key scratched vehicles I have seen involve one side of the vehicle, or obscenities written on the hood or luggage lid.  When I see autos that have every single panel on the vehicle scratched, I mean, bumpers, hood, fenders, doors, roof, quarter panels, luggage lid, I know this is a person trying to get a complete paint job.  Part of the car could have actually been scratched by a vandal,  but then the owner makes sure the entire car gets painted by scratching the rest of it.  Again, when an appraiser sees this a letter is sent into the claims adjuster and the file is flagged as suspicious.

I could tell you lots of funny hail storm stories where people tried to recreate hail dents. Some were so obvious that they were not hail dents, I actually felt sorry for the persons.

Always tell the truth, it pays to be honest. Lying about the above is called insurance fraud.

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