3 Men Accused of Car Insurance Scam in Southern California
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Most car insurance scams primarily hurt people’s pocketbooks, but the crime three Californian men are accused of committing also put people in the hospital.
Eduardo Retana, Ausencio Gomez, and Victor Valle-Diaz were charged with insurance fraud and assault with a deadly weapon on a number of counts after allegedly staging 15 car accidents in the Los Angeles area.
21 victims were involved in the accidents, some of whom suffered serious injuries. On top of that, insurance companies were allegedly defrauded almost $300,000.
Car insurance scammers make everyone else pay more.
Details of the car insurance fraud case
In 2020, from January 15 to September 18, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón says the three defendants staged 15 accidents on freeways in Los Angeles County. In all, 52 charges were laid against the three men.
“Purposefully causing automobile collisions can cause grave injuries or even death for the innocent victims of an automobile insurance scheme,” Gascón said.
The case is being investigated by the California Department of Insurance. An arraignment was scheduled for August 31. Details on the results of that hearing are yet to be released.
The 21 victims involved in the accidents received the brunt of the damage caused by these incidents, but the fraudulent car insurance claims will have far-reaching consequences as insurers compensate for their losses by raising premiums.
The cost of car insurance fraud
Car insurance fraud costs billions every year. A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council estimates that bodily injury claims cost between $5.6 billion and $7.7 billion in 2012 alone.
Edmunds says that adds up to an average of $300 to your premiums every year. Because fraud is so prevalent, insurance companies include the risk of loss into their rates, divvying the cost between their customers.
Making false car insurance claims can result in some pretty serious consequences for the thief, too. Besides jail time and having to pay back the money you stole, you’ll have a very hard time getting any coverage once your sentence is up.
How to save on car insurance
Fraudulent claims might be making car insurance more expensive, but there are ways to tip the scales back to keep your rates affordable.
Keeping a clean driving record, owning modest vehicles, and maintaining a good credit score can help you keep car insurance costs down. But the easiest way to find cheap car insurance is by shopping around for the best rates and discounts with Jerry.
Jerry is a personal insurance broker that lives in your pocket. But don’t worry about buying tiny office furniture, Jerry is an app. Once you download Jerry, just answer a handful of questions that will take you roughly 45 seconds to complete and you’ll immediately get car insurance quotes for coverage similar to your current plan. Jerry customers save an average of $879 a year.