IBC calls on brokers and customers to help fight auto insurance fraud

Published: March 13, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is ramping up its fight against auto insurance fraud and is urging insurance brokers and customers to join in. March is Fraud Prevention Month for the bureau and the spotlight it on best practises for preventing and battling auto insurance fraud in Ontario and across Canada.

“Auto insurance fraud is a serious crime that costs Canadians billions of dollars each year,” said IBC national director of investigative services Garry Robertson. “It’s an illegal, organized big business, largely unknown to consumers, that siphons resources away from our health care system, ties up our emergency services and courts, and drives up insurance costs.”

Brokers are encouraged to advise their clients the following to prevent auto insurance fraud:

  • Do your homework when purchasing a used vehicle – Consumers should not only select a reputable dealer to purchase a used vehicle from, but should also check IBC’s VIN Verify Service to see if the car has been given a new vehicle identification number (VIN) to hide that it was previously considered a non-repairable car.
  • Avoid staged collisions – Policyholders should never tailgate, and should call the police if they suspect they have been a victim of a staged accident.
  • Take extra care if you are involved in a collision – Policyholders should document as much as they can of the accident’s details, and should contact their insurance representative as soon as possible.

Ontario is notable for being home to excessive fraud that helps to make the province the most expensive auto insurance market in Canada. The IBC explains that despite huge problems with fraud, the insurance industry is becoming better and more sophisticated at finding fraud activity.

“Insurers and their partners are already playing a significant role in reducing instances of auto insurance fraud. However, it is important that consumers know what to look for and to avoid becoming victims,” Robertson added.