In c9762 issued today at 09:00e an error occurred in the "For Further
Information" section. Taras Hryb's telephone number should be "(604)
937-3355" and not "(604) 937-5555" as originally issued. Corrected copy follows:
ICBC $100 million increase in bodily injury claims largely preventable
VANCOUVER, April 6 /CNW/ - By stepping away from national standard
practices in the insurance industry, ICBC experienced a $100 million
increase in payments for bodily injury claims and related expenses.
"Much of this bodily injury cost increase is preventable" says Mr.
Taras Hryb, President of the Private Investigators Association of
British Columbia (PIABC). The current increase in bodily injury claims
and associated high settlement costs can be reduced with more frequent
and thorough investigations of suspicious injury claims. Such
investigations can help reduce future rate increases that invariably
result from significant increases in settlement costs.
ICBC's focus on public education, accident and impaired driving
reduction is laudable but these are only part of an effective solution
to significantly reduce bodily injury claims and costs. "We believe
that bodily injury claims and cost increases in 2010 have a direct
correlation to ICBC's current mandate which is to reduce outside
allocated expenses. That mandate does not place a high priority on
identifying and investigating suspected fraud. Our members report
that ICBC dramatically reduced the use of professional investigation in
suspected fraudulent injury claims. Such investigations are an
important tool in claims risk mitigation, and are part of standard
practices for insurance companies across North America" said Mr. Hryb.
Studies show that every one dollar spent on programs supporting fraud
detection and thorough investigation returns a very much greater
savings to rate payers.
False or purposefully exaggerated insurance claims are illegal,
unethical and add to rate premium increases for all BC motorists. ICBC
pays an estimated $310-$465 million each year for fraudulent claims,
resulting in an extra $100-$150 on the yearly premiums of BC rate
payers. ICBC should be more diligent in detecting, investigating and
defending against such claims by using all available and appropriate
resources. PIABC members believe this view reflects the sentiment of
the majority of British Columbians.
ICBC should do more to reduce bodily injury related costs by increasing
allocated expenses for investigation, develop policies and procedures
that effectively identify suspicious claims and encourage adjusters and
managers to initiate thorough investigations under all such
circumstances. This will result in real returns on the investment that
ultimately comes from rate payers in BC. It is the belief of PIABC
that the alternative will ultimately lead to significantly higher
insurance premiums in the near future.
The detrimental effect of not thoroughly scrutinising suspicious claims
using experienced and skilled investigators is obvious. ICBC adjusters
will have less accurate information to settle or deny claims. As well,
lawyers representing ICBC, and therefore the rate payers of British
Columbia, will have less accurate information to support their efforts
to either fairly settle a justified claim or more rigorously defend
against a fraudulent or exaggerated claim.
Even more damaging is the climate that may be created when suspicious
claims are systematically not properly investigated. Such a climate
may attract more abuse, especially by organized and semi-organized
crime groups seeking to take advantage of any perceived tolerance for
fraud. It will become even more difficult to reduce insurance fraud
once these criminal groups entrench such activities within their
illegal practices. Early prevention is much less onerous and costly
than delayed mitigation.
Background on the Private Investigators Association of British Columbia
The Private Investigators' Association of British Columbia (PIABC) is
an incorporated association of licensed Private Investigators and
investigation firms in British Columbia. It is the only private
investigation association in BC that is recognized by the Canadian
Association of Private Investigators (CAPI), the official voice of
private investigators in Canada. PIABC holds its members to a strict
code of ethics to ensure that the public and industry clients are well
served. Member firms of PIABC qualify for investigative body status
under federal privacy legislation. In British Columbia, businesses and
individuals offering private investigation services must hold a valid
security license as per the terms of the Security Services Act of our
PIABC serves our members by providing them with a collective voice,
representing their interests to government and industry. We offer our
members training and learning, networking, employment opportunities,
business and investigative resources.
Many PIABC members have extensive professional investigation experience
and come from occupations such as accountants, human resources
specialists, computer and related technology specialists, insurance
adjusters, and police officers.
PIABC members have been used very successfully for many years to uncover
fraudulent insurance claims as well as corroborate assertions of
serious injuries to the benefit of the claimants. They are relied upon
to investigate incidents by ICBC as well as other Crown corporations
and private insurers. PIABC members also serve other industries such
as the retail sector, private corporations and citizens.
SOURCE Private Investigators Association of British Columbia
For further information:
Taras Hryb, President PIABC