IBC marks Fraud Prevention Month with advisory release

Body warns that insurance fraud costs everyone much more than most people imagine

IBC marks Fraud Prevention Month with advisory release

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is kicking off Fraud Prevention Month by warning everyone about the damage insurance fraud can do.

The bureau recently issued a release that shows the far-reaching effects of fraud. To illustrate this, IBC prepared a helpful chart enumerating the numerous issues that arise whenever insurance fraud is committed:

Because of fraud …

This means …

Police have to spend time investigating fake accidents, fraud schemes and crime rings

  • Fewer police resources are available to respond to emergencies, investigate other crimes and ensure public safety
  • Extra time pressure and paperwork for frontline law enforcement officers
  • Extra costs for policing that result in either higher taxes or service cuts for your family

The health care system has to assess and even treat people who don’t really need medical care

  • Longer waiting times for treatments and diagnostic tools such as X-rays
  • Ambulances (fire fighters – when they attend fraudulent accidents) and other medical attention may be delayed for people in real need
  • Extra costs for health care that result in either higher taxes or service cuts for you and your family

Criminal and civil courts must deal with time-consuming fraud cases, appeals and lawsuits

  • Other court cases take longer to be heard and justice is delayed
  • Successful fraud artists may be rewarded if their lawyers can fool the courts
  • Extra costs for the justice system that result in either higher taxes or service cuts for you and your family

“There are human and financial costs to insurance-related crimes, and these have a ripple effect,” said IBC vice-president of investigative services Henry Tso. “For example, insurance crimes such as fake accidents and falsifying insurance claims not only affect the unsuspecting victims of the collision, but also affect the general public by needlessly using up valuable law enforcement, court and health care resources that could be better used elsewhere.”

Tso added that fraud could ultimately lead to higher taxes and insurance costs.

“If someone tries to tell you that insurance fraud is a victimless crime, ask that person, ‘Who pays for the police investigation? Who foots the extra legal bills when an insurance fraud case clogs up the courts?’”

IBC mentioned in its release that it is joining its member P&C insurers in the fight against fraud, by working with law enforcement agencies, all levels of government, insurance brokers’ organizations and other stakeholders across Canada to raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight insurance crime.

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