Allstate Canada is tough on insurance fraud
TORONTO, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Whether it's a staged collision, arson or
an exaggerated claim, insurance fraud comes in many forms, but fraud in
any form costs all Canadians. March is Fraud Prevention Month, and
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is cracking down on insurance
fraud and educating Canadians on how to protect themselves against this
type of crime.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), fraudulent claims
cost Canadian policyholders and insurance companies several billion
dollars per year. The IBC estimates that at least 15 cents of every
dollar policyholders pay for their insurance policies goes towards
paying out false claims.
"There is no 'face' to insurance fraud or any sort of person who is more
likely to commit it," says Saskia Matheson of Allstate Canada. "Too
often people commit an insurance crime because it seems victimless, but
it is Canadian drivers, tenants and homeowners who end up paying the
price for other people's dishonesty," says Matheson.
Allstate Canada classifies insurance fraud as "hard" or "soft." Hard
fraud is a deliberate attempt either to stage or invent an accident,
injury, theft, fire or other type of loss that would be covered under
an insurance policy. Soft fraud is the most common type of insurance
fraud and happens when someone exaggerates a legitimate claim.
"We recently had a case where a customer reported a home invasion and
provided an extensive list of contents from their home that were
stolen," says Matheson, citing an example of soft fraud. "Our claims
team compared the list of items to crime scene photos taken by police,
and they discovered that several of the large ticket items that had
been reported stolen were actually still in the house after the
robbery. In the end, the insured was taken to court for fraud."
Allstate Canada is cracking down on fraud
Allstate Canada lists the most common types of insurance fraud as staged
auto theft, arson, fake damages and inflated claims. Allstate Canada
has experts in its Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to investigate
questionable claims. While most insurance claims are legitimate, the
Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that 10 to 20 per
cent of claims may be false or contain some questionable element.
Allstate Canada and its SIU continue to work on new and more effective
ways to stop and prevent fraud. When a fraudulent claim is discovered,
action is taken immediately — whether it is denying the claim,
cancelling the policy or taking legal action against the perpetrators.
Allstate Canada reminds Canadians to provide complete and honest
information to their insurance providers about their claims to avoid
any delays or problems. Allstate Canada also offers advice at www.goodhandsadvice.ca/fight-fraud to help Canadians protect themselves against insurance fraud and to
help keep costs down for everyone.
If you're involved in an automobile collision, be sure to obtain the
proper information from the other party. Take down the licence plate
numbers and get a copy of the police report.
When using tow trucks, use your insurance company's network of trusted
vendors and read carefully everything the tow truck driver asks you to
Keep detailed records of your medical treatments. Make sure treatments
are necessary and include all dates, locations and who provided the
treatments and what diagnoses and services you received.
Read all forms before signing and never sign a blank insurance form.
Never take referrals offered by a stranger.
Keep track of what you own with Allstate Canada's homeowners checklist: http://goodhandsadvice.ca/media/pdfs/Allstate-homeowners-checklist-ENG-29-07-11.pdf
If you suspect insurance fraud, report it immediately to the police. To
submit a confidential tip to the IBC regarding insurance crime, call
1-877-IBC-TIPS. For more information on how to protect yourself from
insurance fraud, contact your insurance agency, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca/fight-fraud, or call the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-ALLSTATE.
Allstate Canada is committed to helping promote fraud awareness and is
working with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) during
its 2012 Crime Prevention Campaign to educate the general public on the
consequences and preventative measures related to personal property
crimes which affect us all. To find out what Allstate Canada is doing
to protect you and your family against insurance fraud, visit the "Good
Hands Network" at www.goodhandsadvice.ca.
About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada's leading
producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products. "The
Good Hands Network®" enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada
through one of 92 community-based Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate
Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities
in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way
and Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with
the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), created the
Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to guide
the next generation of Canada's hockey youth. Learn more about this program at www.allcanadians.com. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca or www.allstate.ca.
SOURCE Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
For further information:
For more information about insurance fraud or to speak with Saskia Matheson, Allstate Canada's official spokesperson, please contact:
Thornley Fallis Communications
T: 416.515.7517 x 350