I like Toyota cars as much as anyone, but the company is running a new commercial that seems to encourage insurance fraud.

The ad shows a guy shoveling a huge amount of snow on top of his already buried car. Clearly, he’s waiting for something. The next thing you see, a huge snowplow slices his car in half.

Now you can get a new car, the announcer suggests.

The ad is funny, clever and seasonal, but my insurance policy would be invalidated if it turned out I had planned my own cars destruction.

Let’s look at it another way: If you drive your car onto the train tracks and it dies and you get out and try to push it off the tracks, that wouldn’t be insurance fraud. That would be an unfortunate series of events leading to a bad accident.

But, if you drive your car onto train tracks, get out of the car and leave it for a train to hit so that your insurance policy kicks in to buy you a new car, is that considered insurance fraud? It might be.

Hopefully, this won’t be one of those situations where life imitates art.

Published: Jan 3, 2008