POMONA, Calif. (KABC) --A minivan and a sedan go up in flames, as investigators watch. The fires - set deliberately - are simulations to train insurance investigators to spot vehicle arson.
"Accidental fires will typically come from the engine or something electrical, whereas intentional fire generally has some financial motive which impacts all of us," said Richard Angel, director of special investigations for Infinity Insurance.
Southern California has the highest insurance rates in the Golden State. As the number of vehicle arson fires increase, knowing the difference between an intentional fire and an accidental one can help people save money.
Fewer insurance fraud cases means lower insurance premiums, Angel said.
"The L.A. area is the car capital of the world; and with that, unfortunately, comes a lot of insurance fraud," Angel said.
Los Angeles County firefighters say they can usually tell something isn't right immediately.
"If it's in the middle of the night in an alley or a hard to get place, and it's fully involved and there's nobody around - that raises suspicions," said Rick Flores with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.