Seattle woman commits insurance fraud – shows importance of having auto insurance
Not only are you legally required to have auto insurance in the state of Washington, but as a King County auto accident lawyer, I highly recommend purchasing the highest limits you can afford. Auto insurance offers many protections, and the troubles that can come from not having it far outweigh the cost of the monthly payment.
State Insurance officials say that a woman from Seattle committed insurance fraud when she got into an accident without insurance and renewed her policy to claim $6,500 in damages. Margaret Balderama was seen by witnesses with extensive damage to her car hours before the reported time of the crash. Witnesses also said that there was already damage to her car hours before she called GEICO to renew her policy, which had expired seven months earlier. Earlier this week, a Pierce County man pleaded guilty to insurance fraud after he claimed that his car was damaged in a hit-and-run and collected a $4,500 settlement when he actually collided with a fence. He received a 40 day jail sentence. Balderama claimed that a hit and run accident caused the damage to her car, and she pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of insurance fraud in April. She is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
Insurance fraud is one of the largest crime industries in America, costing private insurance companies almost $80 billion each year. These accidents illustrate the importance of always having valid auto insurance. If the Seattle woman had auto insurance, her accident most likely would have been covered and she would have received compensation. In addition to being the law here in Washington, auto insurance provides financial, medical and personal protection in case you are involved in an accident.