Two items that drivers regularly leave in their glove compartments could lead to fraudulent claims and even identity theft, according to Douglas Shiring, GEICO’s director of special investigations.
If you haven’t figured it out already, the two items are your insurance-policy card and your vehicle registration.
Here’s what GEICO recommends:
- Don’t leave any information about you or your vehicle in the car
- Keep vehicle and policy information in your wallet
- Consider using a safe digital application such as GEICO Mobile to store key driver documents
Identity thieves can make a fraudulent claim using your policy-information card, and if your vehicle is stolen, a thief could claim legal possession by using the registration. Using a stolen driver’s license and social security number, identity thieves also can apply for vehicle insurance in your name as a means to make fraudulent claims.
“Insurance fraud is a growing business making billions of dollars a year,” Shiring added. “That makes insurance fraud equivalent to the GDP of 182 worldwide economies.”
On average, the cost of insurance fraud to the victim – including legal fees, deductibles and overdraft fees – is $1,300, and the time it takes to straighten out the claim is seven days, according to GEICO.