TORONTO, Jan. 13, 2016 With January being Crime Stoppers Month, Insurance Bureau of Canada is encouraging Canadians to be vigilant against insurance fraud.
Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. Whether opportunistic or premediated, insurance fraud is a significant issue in Canada resulting in higher premiums for consumers and delay of services for the people in real need.
"Fraud is a crime of deception," said Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigative Services at IBC. "When undetected, fraudulent claims are paid using the premiums of honest policyholders. Your best defence against insurance fraud is a good offence. Be educated and aware, as fraudsters can easily take advantage of unsuspecting consumers."
IBC has long advocated for legislative changes and for the courts to take these crimes more seriously through harsher penalties in order to create deterrents, and we have seen results, including Bill 15 passed last year by the Ontario government, which amended various statutes to help reduce insurance fraud, regulate towing and storage services, and protect consumers.
IBC works with insurers and law enforcement authorities to detect, deter and disrupt opportunistic and premeditated insurance fraud schemes that put public safety at risk. Recently, IBC assisted Toronto Police Services, the Canadian Border Services Agency and other law enforcement agencies to identify over 200 high-end vehicles, worth an estimated $11 million and return them to their rightful owners. Some of the vehicles that this car theft ring is accused of stealing were allegedly reVINed, fraudulently registered and sold to unsuspecting buyers. But the majority of the vehicles were to be shipped to the lucrative markets of West Africa, with the profits of their sales most likely funding organized crime and possibly terrorist activities.
"Insurance crime is big business. When they cheat, we all pay," continued Dubin. "IBC and police services rely on help from the community to catch fraudsters. That is why we encourage people with information about insurance crime to call our anonymous TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
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