After the accident: avoiding auto repair scams
(NC) Being involved in a minor auto collision is bad enough. Falling prey to a criminal fraudster certainly makes things worse. Unfortunately, post-accident scams are on the rise and can range from false repair estimates to maintenance hook schemes and part replacement problems.
“When navigating an auto accident, there are many different parties involved, like tow trucks, auto body shops and rental companies,” explains Bryant Vernon, chief claims officer at Aviva Canada.
“We always recommend calling your insurance company as soon as you can – ideally at the scene. They can guide you through the claims process and help you avoid costly mistakes or delays because they vet and monitor preferred vendors to ensure the best customer experience. Aviva customers who go through a preferred vendor have their claim settled, on average, 30 days faster and are more satisfied overall.”
While insurers have seen customers fall victim to these scams, fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid post-accident fraud:
• Once everyone is safe, record the details of the accident, noting the vehicles involved and the people you interacted with.
• Insist on going to the repair shop recommended by your insurance company.
• Take time to read the fine print, ask questions and do not sign blank forms or documents you do not understand.
• Report any suspicions of fraud to your insurer.
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