Car Insurance Fraud
March 09, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Car insurance fraud continues to be huge business in Ontario. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada it cost Ontario drivers $1.6 Billion dollars last year. To make that more personal, it means about $235 of your car insurance premium goes to paying for the fraud. We are paying for a lot of cheaters. I have posted extensively about the fact that Ontario drivers pay some of the highest premiums in the country. Stopping fraud would have a big impact on the claims we pay.
Fraud doesn’t just cost us in premiums though. The fraudulent accidents also cost us tax dollars in the form of health and emergency services. Fake claims use valuable health care resources. They tie up our court systems and our emergency response personnel and emergency room beds. The fraud isn’t committed by one off individuals. Auto insurance fraud is ‘organized big business’ according to IBC Vice-president Kim Donaldson.
Groups of drivers and passengers typically operate as teams, staging accidents which involve an innocent driver. This means that you should be on the lookout for suspicious activity if you are involved in any accident. Remember that if something doesn’t ‘feel’ right about a situation then it likely isn’t right. You can call police to any accident at anytime if you feel threatened, or you think there is something suspicious. Simply indicate that to the operator when you dial 911.
The IBC advises that you can help protect yourself against fraud by taking the following steps:
Avoid staged collisions: A staged collision is no accident – it supports false auto insurance claims. A collision scenario can be mimicked regardless of the number of vehicles or occupants reported, the events reported, or the resulting damages and injuries.
- Never tailgate; instead, allow adequate distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Look well beyond the front of your car while driving.
- If you suspect that you have been a victim of a staged collision, call the police from the accident scene and call IBC's confidential TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or, submit an anonymous tip to IBC online.
- Notify your insurance representative immediately.
If you are involved in a collision, take extra care:
- Write down the other vehicle's licence plate number, collect the driver's licence and insurance information, photograph the damage, note the other driver's behaviour and watch for warning signs of a scam. If you have been involved in an auto accident that just didn't feel right, it might not have been an accident at all. Criminals are devising increasingly elaborate staged accidents – complete with fake injuries – to collect on insurance policies. Call the police and call IBC's TIPs Line if the accident circumstances seem suspicious.
- Use a reputable tow truck service. Be sure the tow truck has a licensing number and carefully read anything you are asked to sign. Have your vehicle towed to a secure location of your choosing.
- Call your insurance representative as soon as possible.
|Posted under Accident Benefit News
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.
It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.