Police north of the city are reporting that several people have attempted to avoid at-fault claims on their driving records by making false collision reports.
According to a press release from the York Regional Police, more than 20 people have called the collision reporting centre attempting to falsify claims since March 2015.
Police said most of these incidents involved the drivers claiming someone hit their car while it was parked and unattended and did not remain at the scene.
“In most of the cases, the person reporting the collision advised police their vehicle had been struck in a parking lot while left unattended and the person who struck their vehicle did not remain to provide any information,” reads the release.
Officers were able to determine that these stories were not consistent with the damage to the vehicle, and in some cases, once the drivers were confronted by police about the inconsistencies, they came clean.
What’s probably most troubling is that some of these people told police that their repair shops advised them to do so in order to reduce deductibles.
“Falsely reporting a collision, no matter how minor, is a criminal offence,” says the release. “Criminal charges can include public mischief, obstruct police, fraud and fail to remain.”
While these drivers were trying to avoid at-fault claims driving up their premium, a criminal offense on their record (as long as it’s related to insurance) could make the cost of insurance prohibitively expensive, likely much more expensive than a claim would.
Insurance fraud is a pervasive problem in Ontario: last year, the Ontario government set up a new “fraud squad” to crack down on insurance fraud and help bring down relatively high insurance premiums in the province, as part of its promise to cut rates by 15 per cent.