TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - March is Fraud Prevention Month, and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is encouraging Canadians to join the fight by learning how to identify and report insurance fraud. According to the Ontario Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force Final Report auto insurance fraud in Ontario is estimated to cost consumers up to $1.6 billion a year in insurance premiums. These estimated costs do not include additional health care, emergency services and court costs.
"When someone makes a false or exaggerated claim, honest policyholders pay for it," says Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigations at IBC. "Insurance criminals take money right out of your pocket. When they cheat, you pay."
Consumers can really help to reduce insurance crime, according to Dubin. "The more people report fraud, the more fraudsters and scam artists we can bring to justice," he says. "We encourage consumers to visit ibc.ca to learn more."
Insurance fraud comes in many forms. Often, it's the work of organized groups or gangs. But it can also involve normally law-abiding citizens who see a chance to make a few extra dollars by considerably padding an otherwise legitimate claim.
It's easy to report exaggerated claims, staged auto collisions and other crimes related to insurance. Just call IBC's anonymous toll-free TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS (422-8477) or submit a tip online at www.ibc.ca under Report Insurance Crime. All tips are kept confidential.
"It's important that we not only acknowledge the problem of insurance crime, but that we do something about it," says Dubin. "IBC's investigators take all tips seriously, no matter how large or small. If your instincts tell you something doesn't seem quite right and may be insurance fraud, we urge you to submit an anonymous tip."
IBC, law enforcement agencies, governments and individual insurance companies are committed to putting an end to insurance fraud by investigating reported crimes and educating Canadians about the costs and consequences of insurance fraud. IBC is also lobbying for legislative changes that will increase the risks of punishment and decrease the profits associated with these types of crimes.
To view a short video about exaggerated claims and insurance fraud with Rick Dubin
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.
SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA
For further information:
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
To schedule an interview, please contact:
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312