Many drivers try to get cheaper car insurance rates by lying about their driving history.
Does your car insurance company really need to know about that speeding ticket you received 3 years ago? Does your insurance company really need to know the primary driver of your vehicle? Today, we’re explaining what happens when you lie to your insurance company about your driving history.
Top 5 Most Common Lies About Driving History
Most drivers don’t lie about major things. Most drivers understand that their insurance company can check their history of DUIs and at-fault collisions. That’s why the most common lies are relatively small. Common lies include:
- Failing to accurately report accident history or previous insurance claims
- Falsification of details regarding where you park your vehicle overnight
- Failing to disclose the real purpose of the vehicle – like whether it’s for leisure or business
- Falsification of the total annual miles driven
- Failure to accurately report the primary identity of the driver
These might seem like minor lies, but they can lead to big consequences. Sure, you might save a bit of money on your policy, but these lies can cost you significant amounts in the long run.
What Happens If You Lie?
The main consequences of lying to your insurance company include:
- Denied claim
- Policy cancellation
- Increased premiums
If you lie to your insurance company and they find out, then your policy could be void. You might make a claim on your insurance policy, only to have that claim rejected because you didn’t tell the truth.
Losing your car insurance might be the least of your worries. It’s a criminal offense to falsify details required by an insurance underwriter. Insurance fraud is a crime, and drivers who lie on their insurance policies can be charged with fraud.
Finally, drivers who lie may struggle to get affordable car insurance in the future.
How Do Insurance Companies Catch a Lie?
Insurance companies aren’t professional spies. They’re not going to creep into your backyard at night to make sure your vehicle is legitimately parked in a locked garage. They’re not going to sit outside your house and track which driver is driving your vehicle at which time.
There are two ways insurance companies catch lying drivers:
Discovery During the Underwriting Process
During the underwriting process, the insurance company will build a customized rate based on your unique risk factors – including things like your age, your marital status, your ZIP code, and your driving history. Underwriters check your credit score, your driving history, and other personal information to verify everything on your application is correct. If a lie is discovered during the underwriting process, then you’ll likely have to re-do your application.
Discovery After an Accident
In many cases, your lie won’t be discovered until after an accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident, then it may quickly become apparent that you were lying on your car insurance policy. Insurance companies will investigate all claims – especially costly claims. If they discover you were lying about where your vehicle is parked, who the primary driver is, and other information, then your claim might be voided. That means you could be forced to pay out of pocket for all repairs, medical expenses, property damage, and other expenses incurred during the incident.
Ultimately, most car insurance companies have a special investigative unit in-house. That unit is aided by law enforcement agencies, government institutions, and credit bureaus. These investigative units will closely examine your financial information, legal documents, and even your social media accounts to determine if your claim is valid. Sometimes, investigators will even interview people close to you to determine, say, if you’re the primary driver of a vehicle. In most cases, the lies you’ve been telling will be easily uncovered.
Lying to your insurance company is generally a bad idea. Your insurance company will easily be able to spot big lies – like lying about a prior incident or DUI conviction. They’ll also be able to spot smaller lies – like lying about your parking location, your annual mileage, or the primary driver of your vehicle.
In some cases, these lies might not be revealed until after you make a claim. However, all lies – big and small – can lead to consequences like a canceled policy, a denied claim, and increased premiums.