Disclaimer: In the interest of privacy for those involved, actual names have been changed and the name of the insurance company (which is NOT one of our carriers) will not be disclosed. This is a TRUE story.
Ashley was rear-ended by another vehicle while making a right turn on to her street. Both Ashley and the young lady who hit her car agreed not to go through the insurance company and to settle things on their own. Before parting, the young lady agreed to pay for any damages she caused.
A couple of days later, Ashley calls the young lady to tell her that she needs $450 to fix her car. The young lady replies that she doesn't want to pay any more than $200 and they begin arguing. The call ends and shortly after, Ashley receives a call from her insurance company stating that a claim has been filed by the young lady that hit her car and that Ashley needs to provide her account of what happened.
During this call it is revealed to the insurance company that Ashley's actual address and the address on her policy are completely different and that Ashley never resided at the residence on her policy. The insurance company, in turn, flags her account as fraudulent. Ashley calls her brother (who set up her policy) and he admits that he did in fact set it up using a different address to save money.
At this point, the other insurance company has refused to pay for damages to Ashley's car even though their client is at fault (the reason for this is still unclear) and Ashley is now dealing with her insurance company being uncooperative because she’s been flagged for fraud.
Currently Ashley has obtiained a lawyer and will be attempting to try to have the at-fault driver's insurance to pay for damages. She's doing well despite the circumstances. She has switched insurance companies and now has a policy that she set up on her own. She has also educated herself, with the help of her new agent and knows what is covered, what is not covered and how to properly handle a car accient situation.
Given Ashley's story, I wanted to share how important it is to:
1. Immediately after an accident, call your insurance company
2. Look at your policy whether you, your husband, a parent or a partner set it up. Make sure that if you're confused about anything, that you talk to your agent and get clarification. If anything is incorrect, notify your agent.
3. Do not knowingly submit fraudulent information on your insurance application. It's ok to provide information "to the best of your knowledge" but do not put anything that you know to be untrue.
4. We know that things like PIP protection add to the price of premium, but they are in place to protect you, so before you waive something like that or Water/ Sewer backup, make sure you speak with an agent so that you can understand the risks associated with that.
The photos in this post were obtained using Google Images. Grady, Wright & Associates, Inc does not own them.
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