Like most things in life, when people are shopping for car insurance, they are looking for a deal. Saving money is the name of the game, so it’s not surprising that when filling out a car insurance application, many people lie or omit information in order to try to get a lower rate.
While this may seem like a fairly harmless way to beat the system, the ramifications if you get caught can be quite severe. The potential for savings really isn’t worth the risk, and when lying about certain things, you are pretty much guaranteed to get caught. Here are some of the more common things that people lie about when filling out their application.
Of course, accidents are going to raise your premiums. Even minor ones. However, if the accident was reported to the police or an insurance claim was filed in relation to the accident, a potential insurer will be able to find out about it fairly easily. Insurance companies don’t work on the honor system. They will fact check your form.
Tickets are even easier for an insurance company to find when reviewing your application. While you may have had a minor fender bender where you and the other driver agreed not to get insurance involved and settled it without any report, you won’t be able to make an agreement like that with a cop who is writing you a ticket. Unless the cop is very corrupt. If they are not, though, then you risk a far worse penalty for attempting to bribe a police officer.
What the Car Is Used For
Many people will lie about this one figuring that the insurance company will never find out. They have a lot higher likelihood of being correct in this case, as the company is not going to follow you around to see how you are using the car. However, if you get in an accident while driving the vehicle for work, you could find yourself in a sticky situation, trying to explain things.
Who Will Be the Primary Driver
This is most often done when there is someone who can get a lower rate than the actual primary driver. Usually, it is a parent claiming to be a primary driver on their kid’s car, especially for young men, as they tend to have very high premiums due to the fact that their particular demographic has very high accident rates. Like lying about what the car is used for, this lie may hold up until the true primary driver gets into an accident.
How Many Miles You Drive
People frequently downplay the number of miles they regularly drive. Because less driving means less time on the road and less chance of an accident. This all adds up to less risk for the insurance company and lower premiums for the customer.
However, you are typically required to write down the number on your odometer when you sign up, and the insurance agent typically checks it as well. At a later date when that odometer is checked again – either during an accident or some other adjustment to your insurance – if the number is wildly different from your estimated mile average, you could have some trouble.
Many people in areas with higher crime will list the address of a friend or relative who lives in a lower crime area. However, this lie is very easy to check on, and you will almost certainly get caught.
Consequences for being discovered in a lie can range from mild to severe depending on many factors, like what you lied about and at what point you were caught in your lie. Some of the potential consequences include:
- Higher premiums
- Back pay on premiums
- Losing your policy
- Block from getting a new policy
- Civil fraud penalties
- Jail time
If you face issues over providing false data on an insurance claim, when you were not intentionally being fraudulent, but rather made a simple mistake, you should consider hiring a lawyer. A lawyer can help you against penalties and if your coverage is being denied after an accident, a lawyer can also help get your car accident compensation much quicker.
Other Ways to Save
While you might get away with lying about your coverage for years, you are going out there everyday and gambling against your wellbeing. Your insurance agent should be able to present you with several legal avenues to cheaper rates like bundling your auto insurance with your homeowners or renters insurance.
The relief of not having to worry that someday the other shoe will drop makes legal avenues towards saving a lot more appealing. Ask your insurance provider what programs they offer to help get you the lowest rate possible while keeping everything above board.