March is Fraud Prevention Month across Canada

0 February 27, 2014 at 11:56 am by

IBC is shining a spotlight on the huge problem of insurance fraud.

This year’s theme to consumers is “Don’t Be Scammed.” The insurance industry joins forces with Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Toronto Police Services and other organizations all involved with fraud awareness to get the word out.

I’m not telling you something you don’t already know but insurance fraud is a huge problem in Canada. In 2012, the Ontario Automobile Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force cited a study that estimated that automobile insurance fraud cost between $770 million to $1.6 billion per year – in Ontario alone.

Fraud is a crime of deception. Fraudulent claims are made to look like real claims, and when they are undetected, they are paid as real claims. Paid for from the premiums we collect and a key reason why honest policyholders pay more than they should for auto insurance.

IBC’s Investigative Services works with, and on behalf of, its member companies to investigate the involvement of organized crime groups in the business of insurance fraud. These groups look at fraud as a business, often planning staged collisions or having ownership or interest in service-providing companies that could profit from false insurance claims. These could include body shops, tow truck companies, legal representative firms, health clinics, assessment centres and other service providers alleging to provide housekeeping, care giving or attendant care services. The organized crime groups make a profit from each one of those areas.

By being visible and aware of the issue and getting the message out that we could all become a victim is the first step to preventing or reducing fraud from occurring. By working together – the industry, the consumers, and the government – we may be able to make it more difficult for organized groups to make us victims.

I urge you to encourage your customers and colleagues take the time to report insurance crime if they suspect it is taking place. They can call IBC’s confidential 1-877-IBC-TIPS or go on-line at follow the links. Or they can contact Crime Stoppers.

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