Blog / Car Insurance
Beware of Car Insurance Touters
A message from the CEO of Budget Direct Insurance
Reports of car insurance accident claim touters are on the rise again in Singapore. To help make sure you don’t fall prey to such unscrupulous fraudsters, we’ve put together some tips on what you can do to protect yourself.
Spotting a touter and knowing what tactics they use is a good starting point.
Here are some of the scam scenarios that have been reported in Singapore.
Beware of phoney helpers. Following an accident, you may have people appearing on the scene with offers of “help”. But do beware, as there have been reports circulating online of gangs operating in Singapore, ready to pounce when they spot an accident.
Such touters take advantage of the stress and confusion surrounding events, applying significant pressure to make the victim comply to their demands.
For instance, fraudsters may persuade unsuspecting victims to use certain repair workshops or tow-truck operators that overcharge so that touters can collect hefty referral fees.
You should always resist using tow-services or workshops that are "recommended" by other people involved in the accident or by people who suddenly appear on the scene with offers of ‘’help”.
Instead, you should call your insurer's hotline for a tow truck and/or further advice on how to proceed with the accident processing. You are going to need your insurance company's help whether you are liable for the accident or not. You are also advised not to send your damaged vehicle to any unauthorised repair workshop to avoid complications with your claim. Not only that, relying on your insurer's authorised workshop is also be a good way to both save on your insurance premium and get an honest repair service, as insurers themselves are incentivised to minimise the cost which may escalate due to subpar repairs to your car.
Staged accident. In this instance, a motorist might swerve in front of you and jam on their brakes, causing you to crash into the back of their vehicle, and accusing you of causing the collision. The cars can often be filled with passengers all claiming to be seriously hurt with neck and back injuries. The culprits go on to make large collision and injury claims.
Phoney witnesses. Be suspicious when a witness conveniently appears on the scene and backs up everything the other driver says, again this strongly suggests a staged accident and they’re in cahoots with the driver involved in the collision.
What else can you do to protect yourself against touters? The General Insurance Association (GIA) has a handy three-step checklist.
THREE STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
- a) Exchange Particulars of Parties Involved in the accident and take note of the vehicle numbers.
b) Take photos of the scene of the accident and the damages to all vehicles.
- Call Your Insurer's Hotline for a Tow-Truck or further advice on the accident.
- Report the accident to your Insurer within 24 Hours or by the next working day.
And do remember, you need to report an accident to the police if someone is injured or dies, a hit-and-run situation occurs, or a government vehicle/property, foreign vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist is involved in the accident.
Install a dashboard camera. It’s also a good idea to install a dashboard camera, as this can provide you with a real-time video recording of the accident as it happens. This could be invaluable in helping you to prove your case - either to an insurer, the police or other legal authorities. It could also help you claim for the accident from the other party's insurance company, this would help keep your insurance premium from rising significantly as a result of a claim.
Finally, do report any actual or suspected insurance fraud cases, to your insurance company or to the General Insurance Association (GIA) online at https://gia.org.sg/consumers/contact-us.html.
Stay safe and drive safe,
CEO,Budget Direct Insurance