|Published:||Aug 29, 2013 10:46 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 29, 2013 10:46 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, FL.--It's your money and thieves staging car crashes continue to take more of it.
Today, a Lehigh Acres man was convicted of staging a wreck to claim insurance money.
WINK News uncovered that this type of insurance fraud is on the rise.
29-year old Alain Guevara is the first person in Lee County to be convicted of staging a motor vehicle crash.
"They're stealing, they are no different than the common thief who steals your pocket book," said John Rooney.
Rooney heard the accident Guevara staged last August.
According to investigators, Guevara said a Uhaul truck ran a stop sign down Conlee Street in Lehigh Acres and smashed in to his BMW.
Both drivers were sent to the hospital after claiming they were hurt, right away, Rooney felt the situation was odd.
"It's not like there is heavy traffic out here and nothing out here," said Rooney.
The insurance fraud investigators agreed and they also found out Guevara and the driver of that Uhaul exchanged many phone calls before and after the staged crash.
"Everybody who is in that car, can claim under the drivers benefits as well and that is where the fraud is occuring," said Lynne McChristian with the Insurance Informatiion Institute.
McChristian says in recent years it's only gotten worse.
Back in 2011 we showed you 14 Collier County residents who faced charges of defrauding insurance companies.
They weren't just drivers, they were medical providers as well, using bogus injuries to generate bogus doctors bills.
"So the cost of fraud is costing florida drivers about $50 more a year on their insurance premium than they need to be paying," said McChristian.
Since 2004, no-fault claim payouts have risen 30% and that leaves you to foot the bill.
"I spoke to my insurance agent about it and I said really if you eliminated all of the insurance fraud that actually happens, I said wouldn't my rates actually go down and she said considerably," said Rooney.
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