IBC: They cheat, you pay — Insurance fraud on the rise in Ontario

Potential Catalysts for Turnaround May Start to Emerge

March 23, 2011 – Toronto, ON – Insurance fraud is estimated to be a multi-million-dollar business in Ontario, contributing to the high cost of auto insurance in the province. As March is Fraud Prevention Month, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) urges consumers to take the time to learn how to identify insurance fraud and report suspicious activity.

“When someone makes a false or exaggerated claim, honest consumers pay more than they should for insurance,” said Rick Dubin, IBC’s Vice-President, Investigative Services.

Insurance fraud comes in many forms, and the perpetrators don’t always look like criminals. Sometimes it’s the work of organized groups or gangs that stage collisions or coordinate the shipping of stolen vehicles overseas. But insurance fraud can also involve normally law-abiding citizens who see a chance to make extra dollars by padding an otherwise legitimate claim. Insurance fraud can include these situations:

  • Knowingly lie on an insurance application.
  • Claim previous damage to a vehicle along with damage from a new collision.
  • Claim for injuries that don’t exist after a collision.
  • As a health care provider, submit claims for additional treatments after a person injured in an auto accident has already recovered.
  • Make an injury claim for a collision that never happened.

“Most people know it’s a crime to steal a car,” added Dubin. “But overuse and abuse of the system takes many forms, and this costs all policyholders in the form of increased premiums.”

IBC focuses its investigative efforts on organized insurance crime rings, specifically rings involved in auto theft and/or filing fraudulent injury and accident benefits claims. IBC has also advocated for strict regulation to control the ownership and operation of medical clinics in Ontario supported by tougher criminal and civil penalties due to the increase of identity fraud and theft among other measures to address the underlying factors that contribute to the problem.

TAKE THE TIME, REPORT THE CRIME. Visit www.ibc.ca or call 1-877-IBC-TIPS to submit a confidential tip or to learn more about insurance fraud.

To view a short video about exaggerated claims and insurance fraud, click here.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.