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Swoop and Squat and Why It Affects Florida Car Insurance Rates

If you've never heard of a swoop-and-squat, you may not realize how dangerous certain tactics are on the road. But it' is just one example of how criminals perpetrate fraud, and a reason why Florida auto insurance rates are continuing to increase at a rapid rate. Inflation plays a role, but more important are the number of uninsured drivers and insurance fraud. At least three out of the five top cities for fraud are located in Florida, and here's how the crooks do it.

Car Insurance Fraud Techniques Used n Florida

The aforementioned swoop and squat is a standard technique that involves two cars driven by assailants intent on fraud. One driver positions his or her vehicle in front of the target, or “mark”. The second driver moves alongside the other fraudster's car. When the second driver cuts off the first, the first begins a panic stop, leaving the mark with no chance at braking in time.

The second maneuver only requires one car, and simply preys on distracted and unsuspecting drivers. A lookout in the fraudulent car waits for signs of distractions, then tells the driver to slam on the brakes. In both this case and the swoop and squat, victims are generally to blame due to the requirement for safe following distances.

What Fraud and Uninsured Drivers Mean for Florida Car Insurance Rates

Tampa, Miami and Orlando all rank in the top five for insurance fraud, and Florida car insurance issues related to that are more than double that of New York, the nearest state according to Tampa Bay Online, between 2007 and 2009. That means that insurers have to assume that a large number of accidents are going to happen, roughly 1,000 per year, even if the victim was previously a good driver.

Add to that the fact that roughly one in four Florida drivers go without insurance, and there are major risk factors for insurance companies that impact rates outside of things that even you can control on a day-to-day basis.

More law enforcement might help with the uninsured drivers issue, but it's a difficult prospect. The easiest way to protect against insurance fraud and maintain affordable Florida car insurance rates is to maintain a safe following distance (most fraudsters prey on tight following distances) and minimize distractions.