In celebration of Fraud Prevention Month, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has published its list of the five most common types of fraud.
“When someone makes a false or exaggerated claim, it’s the honest policyholders that pay for it,” said IBC national director of investigative services Bryan Gast in the release.
The bureau revealed in the same release that insurance fraud costs Canadians more than $1 billion a year in additional insurance premiums.
The five most common types of fraud identified by IBC (in no particular order) are:
- Inflated Tow, Store & Dent – Towing companies and auto repair shops can intentionally charge insurers more for their services, which can drive up insurance premium costs for customers.
- The Blank Form – Medical clinic staff can ask claimants to sign blank accident benefit forms, then bill insurers for services that were not even provided. Alternatively, the clinics could forge the signatures of medical practitioners on forms to bill insurers for services never rendered.
- Staged Collision – A driver intentionally causes an accident with an unsuspecting driver, making it look like the other driver is at fault.
- Fake News – Individuals can lie about certain details of their auto insurance policy (i.e. their address, the model of their car) in order to get an ideal risk profile and reduced insurance premiums.
- Hot Cars – Stolen, unrepairable and dangerous vehicles are given a false vehicle identification number, then sold to unwary customers.
“IBC wants to help consumers avoid falling victim to insurance fraud,” commented Gast. “The more people report fraud, the more fraudsters we can bring to justice.”
A release explained that IBC’s investigative services team works with law enforcement, government agencies and insurance companies across Canada to identify insurance crime, investigate fraudsters, and bring criminals to justice.