IBC – Insurance Fraud Follies – What were they thinking?

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TORONTO, March 20, 2012 – There’s nothing funny about insurance fraud. After all, it costs insurance companies and their honest policyholders. But sometimes you can’t help but laugh at some of the outrageous scams and schemes of would-be fraud artists.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is leading the fight against insurance fraud on behalf of the industry and its customers. For Fraud Awareness Month, IBC has collected some true stories of recent claims that left investigators shaking their heads.

The Repo Man

The driveway was empty and the car was gone. That part of the man’s story was indeed true. He had reported that his car had been stolen and filed a claim. But something didn’t seem quite right so the investigator got in touch with the finance company the man had used to buy the car. They told a different story. He had failed to make payments so they had repossessed it and towed it away. A fact the man failed to mention to the insurance company. Claim denied.

Oh Deer

It was apparently a long and winding road filled with all kinds of hazards and a few lies. The man told the insurance company he had hit a deer and claimed that his car was badly damaged. Then his story changed. Maybe it wasn’t a deer, he said, it could have been a rabbit or even a groundhog. The investigator thought they must have some pretty big rabbits and groundhogs in these parts. Well, said the man, maybe it was a fence or a post. How a fence or a post jumped out onto the road was never made clear. Claim denied.

Up In Smoke

At first it had all the hallmarks of an all-too-familiar tragedy. A family had lost all their worldly possessions in a house fire. The husband, the wife and daughter all said they had no idea how it started. The first clue came from a neighbour. He had spotted smoke coming from the house and ran over to check that there was no one inside. He also remembered seeing the wife’s car pull away shortly before the smoke appeared. Two weeks earlier, it turned out, she had stopped by her insurance agent’s office to check that the policy was up to date and paid for. Charges pending. Claim denied.

The Camera Never Lies

The traffic was stop and go on one of Canada’s busiest highways. The man said he was stopped when he was rear ended by the car behind him, and he filed a claim for the damage. Unfortunately for him the car behind had a camera mounted on the dashboard. The recording clearly shows the claimant actually reversing his car and hitting the car behind him. He then gets out to examine the damage he’s caused. There was significant news coverage of the event. Claim denied. Charges laid.

For fraud prevention tips, visit our website at ibc.ca, our blog at getintheknow.ibc.ca or follow us on Twitter @insurancebureau. We tweet the best of our fraud prevention tips each Friday with the hash tag #fraudfightingfriday.

For media interviews, contact Steve Kee, Director, Media Relations with IBC at 416-362-2031 X-4387.

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.