According to a statement made by Florida authorities, staged accidents have cost insured motorists close to a billion dollars no matter their driving record. The “panic stop” and the “swoop and squat” have helped to double South Florida drivers’ rates in the past two years.
“The bottom line is whether you are sitting at home or involved in one of these accidents, everyone pays,” said Allstate Insurance agent Justin Hernden.
Due to the fast growth of this problem, top state officials have been traveling throughout the state to bring attention to local police departments and Florida drivers to be watchful of scammers trying to make a quick dollar at their expense.
The state of Florida is taking this problem very seriously and is being proactive to put a stop to staged accidents, a program has been put in place that any driver that is willing to help authorities by reporting anyone who approaches you about participating in a scam or if you are aware of a staged accident will receive a $25,000 reward. Since this announcement, 250 state residents have put a price on their honesty.
Jeff Atwater, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer joined the Miami-Dade Police Department for a demonstration of the most commonly used staged crash tactics. He said a 40 year old driver in Miami-Dade two years ago paid $580 a year in Personal Injury Protection and now that cost has skyrocketed to $1,050.
“The honest individual in Miami Dade cannot continue to take the loaded cost of fraud in their insurance premium,” he said.
If you want to report staged accidents, call the state’s Fraud Tip Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.
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