What is insurance touting?
Insurance touting is a form of motor insurance fraud, in which touts will approach drivers involved in accidents to offer their services in handling the insurance claims.
These individuals often refer to themselves as ‘insurance specialists’, and would offer to assess the damages to the vehicles for the laundry list required for an insurance claim. Additionally, they would offer their services for vehicle repairs and would even go so far as to offer a ride to see a doctor for any injuries.
Unsuspecting drivers who agree to let these individuals handle their insurance claims will find themselves on the receiving end of a measly insurance payout and high premiums.
This is because these touts would often exaggerate and claim unnecessary damages from the driver’s insurance company, some of which includes medical and personal injury claims.
They will then inform the driver that a sum of the payout will go towards offsetting the repair and medical costs incurred.
How do they know where an accident has occurred?
According to Mothership, most insurance touts are part of a larger network with tons of informants spotting accidents along the roads.
As time is essential to them, having informants will allow these individuals to reach the scene of an accident before the parties involved call their own insurance companies to report the accident.
They also have personal ties to doctors, lawyers and repair workshops – who will often jack up the prices of various medical and repair fees.
The most recent incident of insurance touting happened in September when 6 men approached a driver who had been involved in an accident to offer their services to him.
These men travelled in a yellow Honda and a black Audi to get to the scene as soon as possible. Coincidentally, we have written articles on how reckless both of these drivers have been on the roads:
But surely people won’t fall for this right?
According to the police’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), motor insurance fraud has been on the rise since 2017, with over 20% of motor insurance claims being dodgy.
While the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has set up a hotline for suspected victims of motor insurance fraud, this does not stop the touters from targeting clueless drivers on the road.
What can I do?
With motor insurance fraud being such a prevalent issue in Singapore, the most important thing to do is to acknowledge and recognize certain signs.
If you are approached on the road by unauthorized individuals after having been in an accident, refuse help from them and insist on settling the issue with your own insurance company.
Individuals who have been offered money by touts to submit fraudulent claims, or have evidence that they were a victim of a staged motor accident should call the GIA hotline at (1800 443 7283).
By reporting such cases, we can reduce the costs of motor insurance fraud, which would result in lower premiums for all drivers.
Now that’s a win-win!