Aviva Canada reminds drivers how to identify staged collisions

Family members charged with fraud offences after allegedly staging auto collision

Toronto, ON (May 30, 2013) – “It has to stop. Staged collisions are extremely dangerous and are costing Ontarians too much,” said Greg Dunn, Executive Vice President of National Claims for Aviva Canada.

Aviva Canada is applauding the work of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) after they laid charges against four individuals involved in allegedly staging an auto accident. The purported collision in the city’s west end resulted in over $45,000 in claims costs to two automobile insurers.

It is alleged that in January 2012, four individuals participated in a staged auto collision between two vehicles at the intersection of Dixon Road and Martin Grove Road in Toronto. After illegal activity was suspected, the insurers involved in the claim, Aviva Canada and The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, retained engineers to reconstruct the reported accident and determined that one of the vehicles had apparently deliberately rammed the other multiple times.

The vehicle insured by Aviva contained two occupants who both had medical treatment costs submitted on their behalf by a west end Toronto clinic. Evidence collected during the investigation revealed that the vehicle occupants were asked to sign multiple treatment plans by employees at the clinic. The investigation into the clinic involvement continues.

Charged by TPS are:

  • Driver in vehicle number one, Rakio Shire, with public mischief, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence;
  • Passenger in vehicle number one, Ramla Shire, with attempted fraud under $5,000, uttering a forged document and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence;
  • Driver in vehicle number two, Sheeraz Qureshi, with public mischief, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence; and
  • Passenger in vehicle number two, Justin Wansbrough, with attempted fraud under $5,000, uttering a forged document and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Aviva Canada has submitted an official complaint with the College of Chiropractors of Ontario against the chiropractor employed at the west end rehabilitation clinic.

Aviva Canada wants to warn all drivers that staged collisions do not only involve willing participants. These types of collisions also involve unsuspecting drivers that are either purposefully hit or deliberately put in scenarios where collisions are inevitable or more likely.

If you suspect that you have been in, or affected by, a staged vehicle accident, contact your insurance broker, insurer or the Insurance Bureau of Canada immediately. IBC has a dedicated phone line (1-877-IBC-TIPS) and a website (ibc.ca) for more information.

What to look for in a staged collision

  • Being driven into after being waved on by a driver.
  • Immediate stop or sharp breaking ahead of your vehicle for no apparent reason.
  • Staged accidents usually involve older, salvaged or sometimes rental vehicles.
  • To maximize the amount that can be claimed in medical treatment costs, vehicles involved in staged accidents usually will contain multiple passengers.
  • Staged collisions often involve immediate claims of soft tissue injury such as whiplash by most or all vehicle occupants.
  • Those knowingly participating in staged accidents usually discourage others to call police to attend the scene of the collision.

“Putting others in unnecessary danger or bilking an insurance system that millions of Ontarians support is illegal, abusive and reckless,” continued Dunn. “We have committed to curbing insurance fraud to protect everyone that supports this valuable system.”

Building on already strong capabilities, Aviva Canada has stepped up its tough approach to tackling fraud with more dedicated resources and an investment in technology that aims to identify fraud and even anticipate the potential for fraud before it happens. With an industry-leading anti-fraud team in place, plus solid public sector and industry collaboration, Aviva is well positioned to combat fraud better than ever before. The impact of Insurance fraud in Canada is estimated at over $1.6 billion dollars annually.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva’s Initiatives, its partner in Aviva’s global Street to School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential. For more information visit AvivaCanada.com.

SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.