SIU Corner: Investigating Staged Accidents

Staged accidents are a problem – one that’s on the increase. A Canal investigator recently participated in a meeting with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and defense attorneys regarding the training of the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) and Las Vegas police – both of which serve as the first line of defense.

Although staged accidents can happen anywhere in the U.S., the corridor between Las Vegas and California has been particularly hard hit with this crime, so there was much to learn from experts who face staged accidents with alarming regularity.

Given the trends, police are increasingly demanding immediate, onsite investigation of accidents to capture any suspect behavior. NICB agents are called to accident scenes 24/7. When multiple people from the same vehicle are involved, the police also insist on individual, face-to-face interviews, conducted separately to quickly identify any disparities between stories. Photos of each individual are also being taken at the accident scene itself to ensure the eventual claimant is the same as the person involved.

Identifying known patterns of behavior and instituting checks to recognize potential staging has been a positive first step in reversing recent trends. The insurance industry and law enforcement have created a strong partnership – but there’s a long way to go. These criminals can be remarkably brazen. Once one behavior is identified and added to the screening list, it seems new tactics are brainstormed. Regardless, Canal’s pledge to every insured is to continue accessing available resources, from law enforcement to legal counsel, so that we can provide carriers the accident investigation information they demand. Not only will this help insureds who are victimized by staging, it can also lead to quicker claim resolution for everyone and is yet another way Canal strives to deliver the best possible outcome.

Should you suspect fraudulent activity, please contact Canal IMMEDIATELY.
SIU Hotline 877.561.1599