3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use a Fake Car Insurance Card
If you’ve got a computer and printer, the world of fake insurance cards lies at your fingertips. Across the nation, drivers are using fake insurance cards to avoid paying for real car insurance.
They feel that avoiding car insurance fees while tricking authorities into thinking they have it is a win-win. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Creating fake insurance may be tempting, but are the risks worth it? Here are a few reasons why you should stay away from fake insurance cards.
It’s Considered Insurance Fraud
When drivers think of insurance fraud, they may think about filing false claims or staging fake accidents. However, drivers must know that counterfeit insurance cards also fall under the umbrella of insurance fraud.
Auto insurance fraud can be committed simply by holding a fake insurance card. Even if you were duped into purchasing phony insurance, proving your innocence is a lot easier said than done.
Just remember, proof of insurance is just as important as your driver’s license. If you’re pulled over and found to have a fake insurance card, you can end up with a hefty fine or even jail time. While it may be tempting to get a fake insurance card online, committing insurance fraud just isn’t worth it.
If You Get in an Accident, It’ll Cost You Big Time
If you get into an accident with a fake auto insurance ID card, you aren’t protected by any auto insurance companies. Even if you bought the card in good faith, there is no guarantee that the auto insurance company will side with you.
With a fake insurance card, you don’t have a company to file a claim with, meaning that you’ll need to pay for all the costs of the accident out of pocket. You’ll also be subject to fines and be at risk of license suspension until you can prove that you have adequate coverage according to your state’s requirements.
The DMV Will Find Out Sooner or Later
You shouldn’t think you can slide under the radar with lapsed car insurance. No matter how real your fake insurance card looks, it can’t fool the DMV. Your car insurance company will inform the DMV that your car insurance has lapsed, and the DMV will likely send you a letter telling you about this.
You’ll be asked to cease driving your car and send in your plates. If you refuse, your license could be suspended. The DMV will also register your plate as a suspended one. If you get stopped by the police, while they can’t check your insurance policy, they will be notified by the system that your plates are suspended, which could leave you in even more trouble.
What are the Penalties for Using a Fake Insurance Card?
In most states, it’s become common to show your insurance card, along with your driver’s license and vehicle registration, at traffic stops. In some states, having a fake car insurance card may result in a fine, while other states may sentence you to jail.
If you’re stopped and caught without insurance, you can expect to receive the following penalties:
- Fines and Tickets: Fines and tickets are often issued for first-time offenders or for those whose insurance has lapsed. Drivers unaware of their fake card will likely receive a ticket until you can show proof of insurance.
- Suspended Driver’s License: Fake insurance cards can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Keep in mind that If you don’t complete the DMV’s request to turn in your plates after a lapse in your car insurance, your license will automatically be subject to suspension.
- Registration Suspension: Car registration suspension is yet another penalty of failing to properly your vehicle. You’ll receive a letter from the DMV to return your plates until you can show that you meet your state’s minimum requirement for car insurance.
- Impounded Car: Some states will impound your car if it’s not covered by auto insurance. You’ll have to pay a fee to get it out of the impound lot, and that’s on top of any fines or other requirements you might be subject to.
- Community Service: Instead of jail time, violators may be sentenced to complete a certain number of hours of community service.
- Jail Time: Depending on the state you live in, repeat offenders may end up serving jail time for driving without auto insurance.
What Can You do if You Think You Might Have a Fake Car Insurance ID?
Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, some may fall prey to insurance scams. So, what should you do if you think you might have a fake insurance card? First of all, don’t panic. Try to rectify the situation as soon as possible to avoid more significant problems down the line.
If your card claims that coverage through a large insurance company like Allstate, but you purchased the policy through a third-party company, start by reaching out to Allstate. Reporting the fraudulent company to them is the first step in trying to get your money back.
If you purchased coverage through one of the many smaller insurance carriers, contact the DMV to report the fraudulent activity. If you want to take it a step further, you can contact people at the state level to investigate the fake car insurance company.
Although getting your money back from scammers will weigh heavily on your mind, remember that you need to purchase real auto insurance as soon as possible.
To avoid purchasing fake car insurance in the future, always cross-check with the insurance provider to ensure its authenticity.
Ask the agent who sells you the policy to send you proof of ID. Honest agents that work for legitimate insurers will see no issue with sending proof of ID your way. If they hesitate or refuse to send it to you, they likely come from a fraudulent carrier.
Additionally, be sure to give your new ID card a good once-over. Keep an eye out for any typos or misspellings — these can be telltale signs of a fake card.
Be wary of companies that ask you to pay in cash. Digital payments are safe and efficient, so a company insistent on cash payment is up to no good. Paying digitally also gives you a receipt of payment in case of any issues in the future.
Other Types of Auto Insurance Fraud
There are two major types of insurance fraud: hard fraud and soft fraud.
- Hard Fraud: This kind of auto insurance fraud occurs when someone stages or plans auto insurance loss. An example of this would be a planned auto collision in which a staged witness tells the police that the victim is at fault.
- Soft Fraud: Soft fraud is when a legitimate claim is made, but the driver grossly exaggerates the claim’s details. This also includes falsifying information to get a lower premium or heighten the chances of getting an auto application accepted.
Additional Types of Car Insurance Fraud
Counterfeit Airbag Replacement
This type of scam happens when mechanics fail to replace airbags after a car accident. Untrustworthy repair shops will use salvaged airbags to replace a customer’s airbag. Or, they may install a deployed airbag to a non deployed steering wheel, making it look like the airbag deployed to raise the insurance payout.
This type of insurance fraud is when the owner “dumps” the vehicle by leaving it somewhere, burning it, drowning it, or selling it. Once they’ve disposed of it, they claim that the car was stolen.
Windshield fraud can happen to unsuspecting drivers simply looking for a routine windshield change. A stranger may approach you in a parking lot, claiming that your windshield is damaged and that he can give you a good deal on a quick fix.
While it may sound good, don’t be so quick to agree. The quality of the windshield replacement will be terrible, and once this person has your insurance information, they will submit false claims under your policy.
You can try to clear up the false claims, but your insurance premiums might skyrocket during this time. And if the scammer submits too many claims, your insurance company will drop you altogether.
Falsifying Registration Information
Where you live plays a role in calculating your car insurance rates. Scam artists who live in more expensive areas or areas where car insurance premiums are higher will falsify information to get cheap car insurance. They will register their vehicle in states or counties where car insurance premiums are lower.
If You Can’t Afford Car Insurance Right Now, How Can you Get Covered?
Unfortunately, the only other option you have is to stop driving if you can’t afford car insurance. However, if you have a bit of wiggle room in your budget, there are still ways to get covered so that you can legally continue to drive.
Here are a few things you can do if you can’t afford car insurance right now:
Usage-Based Car Insurance
Usage-based car insurance is an excellent option for drivers who work from home or spend more time on public transit than they do in their vehicle. This type of car insurance determines your policy’s cost based on how much you drive and how safe your driving habits are.
Data is collected by your vehicle and analyzed by your insurer, who decides the discount amount you are eligible to receive.
The best discounts usually go to drivers who spend minimal amounts of time on the road, but insurance companies use various factors to determine the cost of your policy.
State Minimum Coverage
If full coverage car insurance seems to be out of your budget now, try to get the minimum coverage needed for your state. This will generally consist of bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and uninsured motorist coverage. Every state’s minimum coverage is unique, so be sure to check the numbers and compare rates to find the cheapest policies.
Non-owner Car Insurance
Non-owner car insurance covers drivers who don’t have a car and drive a vehicle they don’t own. This kind of car insurance provides liability for any injuries or property damage you may cause if you get into an auto collision.
Although it gives you liability coverage, it doesn’t cover any damage to the car you’re driving, nor does it pay for any injuries you sustain in a crash. Generally, non-owner car insurance costs less than what you would pay for the same liability insurance levels for a car in your name.
For drivers struggling to make ends meet, non-owner insurance can give you coverage without breaking the bank. If you’re frequently borrowing other people’s cars, this may be a good fit for you until you can purchase a vehicle of your own.
To find out how much non-owner car insurance would be for you, Compare.com can help you compare car insurance quotes online quickly.
Fake Car Insurance FAQs
Can you go to jail for fake car insurance?
Yes. Carrying a fake insurance card can get you into some serious trouble. You can be hit with fines of up to $2,000 and a six-month jail sentence in certain states.
Is it illegal to lie on your car insurance?
Lying about car insurance may seem like an easy way out at the time, but the consequences are severe. Lying is considered insurance fraud, and this could result in you facing fines, jail time, and a hike in future insurance premiums. Remember that the only way to be protected during a car collision is to have an actual insurance company – otherwise, you’ll be stuck footing the bill for any injuries and property damage.
How can you verify your car insurance policy?
One of the best ways to verify your car insurance policy is to buy it from a reputable source. Cash payment only car insurance policies are often a scam, so make sure you can pay online. Many companies also offer policy verification links where you can validate your policy number and confirm its authenticity. Finally, all recognized insurance providers should be registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. Check their list to ensure that your chosen insurance company is genuine.
Can police see if you have no insurance?
Yes, police can see if you don’t have insurance. Although they can’t pull you over for driving uninsured, if you get pulled over for any reason, the police can run your plates and find out if you have insurance. If an officer catches you without proof of insurance in your vehicle, the only way out of the ticket is to prove that you had insurance at the time.