Idaho’s state Department of Insurance is objecting to a recent Toyota ad campaign that shows people destroying their old cars by smashing them with boulders or pushing them off the top of a parking garage so they can buy a new Toyota – because it says the ads encourage insurance fraud. The scenes depicted in the ads are crimes, the department said. “We’ve had some problems with that specifically here in Idaho,” said Don Roberson, fraud investigator for the Department of Insurance. Just this past summer, three southeastern Idaho residents tried to claim insurance money on cars they’d torched out in the desert.
Roberson wrote a letter to the president of Toyota asking that the ads be pulled, and he’s not the only one. James Quiggle, spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, said, “There’s been a lot of buzz among the states about this. … A lot of the fraud bureau directors are concerned, and to some degree offended, by ads that encourage a social environment that treats insurance fraud as fun for the whole family, or as a victimless crime.” Click here to read my full story at spokesman-review.com, and click here to see the coalition’s blog posting that includes videos of two of the ads.