Blog: Alleged staged accident caught on tape

Nov 17, 2011

The following article was published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on November 17, 2011:

Alleged staged accident caught on tape

By Julie Patel

The surveillance video below caught several passengers getting out of a white car before the driver backs up into the road. The passengers stand on the sidelines and watch as another car hits the back of the white car. It looks like a staged accident.

Gov. Rick Scott released the video today from the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office. We’ll post details about the accident when we receive them from the governor’s office, the Division of Insurance Fraud or the Sheriff’s Office.

Scott’s office produced the second video below of policyholders describing their rates at round table discussions this month. A select group of insurance agents were each asked to bring a policyholder to the event who illustrates the impact PIP fraud has on insurance rates.

A policyholder featured in the video – Eunice Butts, a disabled veteran in Tampa – told the Sun Sentinel that her insurer, GMAC, increased the annual premium for her two cars to $2,500 earlier this year. She said she switched to a special policy GMAC offers for American Legion members in August because it offers a discount that brought the premium down to $2,000.

Butts, who owns a 2011 Kia and a Hummer, said uninsured drivers and the price of auto insurance is among the top issues that affect her. At the very top: “House insurance. That’s number one.”

She said her property insurance premium increased in recent years from under $2,500 to more than $3,000.

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