Insurers: Beware of phony auto insurance

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Toronto – April 26, 2006 – With news of today�s arrest in Toronto of eight people involved in an insurance scam, Canada�s home, car and business insurers are reminding consumers that there are still many unscrupulous people out there trying to trick them into buying phony auto insurance coverage.

Here�s what consumers should know to avoid being a victim of an insurance scam:

If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is

Auto insurance in Ontario averages about $1278 per vehicle according to recent industry information.

�If you have a clean driving record and you�re being offered insurance at a dramatically reduced price, you could be dealing with a scammer,� says Mark Yakabuski, Vice-President, Federal Affairs and Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada. Ask questions and get a number of price quotations. A low-ball price likely isn�t the deal it�s cracked up to be. And, it won�t seem like such a deal if you find out later that you have no insurance coverage.

Check the source: Licensed agents and registered brokers

�Only licensed companies and representatives can sell insurance in Ontario,� says Yakabuski. �If you have doubts about the person claiming to be an insurance salesperson, find out if they are legitimate. Check with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (for agents) or the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (for brokers) to verify their status. If the so-called insurance salespersons offering you a great deal on car insurance insists on meeting you at a coffee shop, you have to wonder if they are really legitimate.

Know someone who�s driving without insurance? Report insurance crime!

�Driving without insurance is against the law. It�s also unfair to law-abiding citizens who pay insurance premiums so that claims can get paid. If you�re approached by someone selling phony insurance or if you suspect someone of driving without insurance, don�t just get mad, get active. Pick up the phone and call 1-877-IBC-TIPS or go to IBC.ca to submit a confidential tip to IBC investigative services,� Yakabuski adds.

Need more info or advice? Consumer information is available at IBC

Insurance Bureau of Canada has knowledgeable consumer information officers available to answer your insurance questions at 1-800-289-2881 or 416 362-2031 (local Toronto), Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.