Canadians speak out against personal injury insurance fraud

Toronto, ON (Nov. 21, 2001) – A national opinion poll, released today, shows 92% of Canadians do not approve of submitting a false or exaggerated insurance claim. But, at the same time, nearly one in four Canadians knows someone who has committed personal injury insurance fraud.

Independent research suggests that at least 26% of all personal injury (*) claims contain elements of fraud. The poll suggests 46% of Canadians believe it is easy to submit a fraudulent claim.

“Personal injury insurance fraud is a serious problem in Canada. The reality is, we all have a part to play in the battle to reduce fraud,” says Nancy Tibbo, Director of the Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CCAIF).

The CCAIF commissioned the poll to ask Canadians about their knowledge of personal injury insurance fraud. The poll was conducted with 3,358 Canadians over the age of 18 by the research firm, Pollara. Results are accurate to within +/-1.7%, 19 times out of 20.

“We also wanted to find out how people react when faced with personal injury fraud opportunities, what kind of relationships they have with medical and legal providers, and their levels of trust for those providers,” says Tibbo.

Canadians believe that personal injury insurance fraud impacts upon their insurance rates, and more than half (53%) are concerned about the amount paid out by their insurance company for their personal injury treatment.

While most Canadians rely on insurance companies and organizations like CCAIF to help reduce the impact of fraud on the price of insurance, the poll indicates that 85% support the idea of health care providers taking a more active role in insurance fraud investigation. Almost 80% of respondents said they would be willing to wait longer for claims to be settled to allow for a more thorough investigation of possible fraudulent claims.

“Given that only 11% of those polled are aware of the insurance industry’s anti-fraud programs, it’s clear that more has to be done to educate Canadians about personal injury insurance fraud and the serious impact it has on insurance costs,” says Tibbo.

The Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud was founded in 1994 by the Insurance Bureau of Canada to develop, foster and implement solutions to prevent and detect insurance fraud through a variety of concrete initiatives. CCAIF members represent the full spectrum of stakeholders concerned about the cost of personal injury insurance fraud, including the private insurance industry, medical rehabilitation professionals, consumer advocacy groups and public auto insurers.

(*) People submit a personal injury claim when they are injured as a result of an accident in a car, home or business.

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