What would you say if we told you there was a way you could get your auto insurance provider to pay off the lien on your vehicle? No, we didn’t say you could do it legally. We just said you can do it! Here’s how one group of SUV owners found a way to get their auto insurance providers to bail them out of debt and how the ring was finally brought down in a blaze of…almost fire?
Is there anyone out there that hasn’t felt the sting of the recession one way or another? Whether it’s watching businesses close or seeing the rising number of computer programmers begging on the streets it’s impossible to miss the implications of our drooping economy. And as with all drooping economies there are people who find themselves unable to meet the financial obligations they signed up for when their jobs and more importantly their incomes were stable.
So what’s a driver to do but blow up their car and collect the insurance payment?
First and foremost, setting your car on fire is perfectly legal. You can do it anytime you want! The problem is, regardless of what you’re going to be doing with it you still have to pay the payments on that burnt out shell-unless you report it as an accident, maximize on your GAP insurance and convince your auto insurance company to cut you a check that’s guaranteed to get you out of debt!
A dealership in California that had a large number of SUV drivers trying to contact them to trade in their overpriced, gas guzzling SUVs for a smaller, cheaper and more gas efficient model came up with that very same idea. They formed an arson ring that would put their clients in touch with an arsonist who for a measly $300 would be happy to “steal” their vehicle, drive it to a remote location and set it on fire. The owners could then weep regretfully when the police turned up on their doorstep and file insurance claims to total the vehicle.
Debt solved in one easy swipe of a match.
How They Got Caught (And Why You Probably Would Too)
Pork product jokes notwithstanding, law enforcement isn’t nearly as stupid as most criminals would like to think they are. Sooner or later arson investigators are going to catch on to the fact that it’s a scam, and here’s the reason(s) why:
1) To torch an SUV faster than the fire department can show up and put out the flames the arsonist is going to need to use an accelerant. Contrary to popular belief, an arson investigator is going to notice a trail of gas stretching across the front seat-and yes, they can pick up on these facts even after the SUV has burnt to a crisp.
2) In most car fires the owner can be found standing nearby. The minute the cops find a burnt-up car, truck or SUV in the middle of nowhere, a safe distance from civilization and the nearest fire hydrant they start asking questions. Especially if the car was reported stolen a short period of time before.
And especially if the owner had GAP insurance on it before the fire.
The cops eventually laid a trap for the arsonist and caught them in the act, bringing them and the rest of the arson ring down in a blaze of burnt-out glory and the ashes of hope.
It just goes to show that no matter how profitable it might be in the short term, the consequences of committing auto insurance fraud just aren’t worth it. Sell your overpriced SUV and make a fresh start with a cheaper, more fuel efficient model-like a little two door hatchback. Your bank account and your sense of privacy will thank you.