TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - As March is Fraud Prevention Month, the
Financial Services Commission of Ontario is reminding drivers how they
can help to fight auto insurance fraud.
"By being vigilant, Ontario drivers can help put a stop to fraudsters
who abuse the auto insurance system and raise premiums for everyone,"
said Philip Howell, CEO and Superintendent of Financial Services.
To protect themselves from auto insurance fraud, Ontario drivers should:
Use a licensed insurance company, agent or broker when buying auto
insurance. Consumers can visit FSCO's website to check whether an insurance company or agent is licensed and they can
visit the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario's website to check whether an insurance broker is licensed.
Collect as much information as possible at the scene of an accident
using a camera or cell phone if it is safe to do so without
confrontation. It is important to record the contact information of
other drivers, drivers' licence numbers and licence plate numbers and
insurance information from vehicle "pink cards."
File an accident report with a Collision Reporting Centre - even if the
accident is minor - to ensure there is a legally documented description
of what happened.
Be suspicious of any referrals at accident site. Fraud collaborators
often recommend auto body shops, storage facilities and health and
Refuse to sign blank forms in advance of receiving any services or
health care treatment related to your accident.
Demand detailed repair and medical bills for any goods and services
related to an accident and review them carefully.
If consumers suspect insurance fraud, they should also report it to
police, Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS) or FSCO.
About the Financial Services Commission of Ontario
FSCO is an agency of the Ministry of Finance established under the
Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997. It regulates
insurance, pension plans, loan and trust companies, credit unions and
caisses populaires, co-operative corporations and mortgage brokerages
and administrators in Ontario.
FSCO investigates allegations of misconduct, unfair practices and
non-compliance with legislation or regulations in its regulated
sectors. When warranted, FSCO takes enforcement action.
In its Final Report, Ontario's Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force
concluded that fraud in the auto insurance system is substantial and
has a significant impact on premiums.
The Task Force's Final Report contains 38 targeted recommendations on
four key areas: fraud prevention, detection, investigation and
enforcement and regulatory roles and responsibilities.
It's estimated that GTA drivers pay as high as $540 more on their auto
insurance each year as a result of fraud, according to research
conducted by Ontario's Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force.
SOURCE: Financial Services Commission of Ontario
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