Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Been in an auto accident? Beware of this scam

KING 5 news reported yesterday that some accident victims are being scammed into getting unnecessary chiropractic treatment to drum up payments from insurance companies. Consumers who experience this -- or any other type of insurance scam -- should report it to our consumer advocates at 1-800-562-6900 or online.

According to KING 5, the scammers use Washington State Patrol’s collision reports to find people who've been in auto accidents. One family reported they were led to believe the insurance company wanted them to be seen and gave them a time limit for the visit.

"They said the claim was going to close immediately. They said we need to come in if we want to have any future claims," the victim told KING 5. 

If you are involved in an accident, the auto insurance company will not require you to see a doctor. It is up to you to seek medical treatment at your discretion. However, if you claim you have medical problems related to an accident, the insurance company may request verification from a medical professional. Consumers should always contact their insurance company’s claim representative or their insurance agent or broker when they have questions about a claim.  

In addition to misleading consumers, tricking consumers into getting unnecessary treatment can drive up insurance rates. Insurance companies base their rates in part on the claims they paid in previous years and unnecessary claims get factored into future rate increases.

Read more about insurance fraud and scams.