Fraud conviction for man who reported car stolen, sent it to Nigeria

Aviva Canada collaborates with Durham Regional Police

TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Aviva Canada, one of the country's leading providers of home, auto, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance, is applauding a recent conviction that is another step towards tackling costly insurance fraud.

This past August, a vehicle was reported stolen by an Aviva Canada customer. In taking the report for the stolen vehicle, the Aviva Canada adjuster noticed inconsistencies in the insured's details and raised concerns with the in-house investigative team.

Working with the Durham Regional Police, Aviva Canada was able to trace the path of the vehicle to a shipping container that cleared Canadian customs and departed for Nigeria in July. It wasn't until after the vehicle had cleared customs that the insured reported the vehicle stolen.

"Like staged accidents, unrecovered vehicles and staged thefts are becoming a bigger problem in Canada," said Greg Dunn, Executive Vice President, National Claims with Aviva Canada. "Insurance fraud costs everyone, but through continued cooperation with local authorities we can take these costs out of the system to help reduce premiums."

Durham Regional Police charged Desmond Stewart, 55 years old, from Whitby, ON with Public Mischief and Fraud over $5,000. Aviva Canada also denied Mr. Stewart's claim and cancelled his insurance policy.

On October 4, Mr. Stewart pleaded guilty to Public Mischief for falsely reporting a stolen vehicle. He was ordered to pay $3,450, received one year's probation, and is required to complete 100 hours of community service.

What can consumers do to help fight insurance fraud?
Report it! If enough consumers alert authorities to this type of activity, fraudsters will be easier to capture and convict. Canadians that suspect insurance fraud can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada's TIPS line at 1.877.IBC.TIPS, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario's Fraud Hotline or call 1-855-5TIP-NOW, or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS).

What Aviva Canada is doing to fight fraud?
Building on already strong capabilities, Aviva Canada has stepped up its tough approach to tackling fraud with more dedicated resources and an investment in technology that aims to identify fraud and even anticipate the potential for fraud before it happens. With an industry-leading anti-fraud team, plus solid public sector and industry collaboration, Aviva Canada is well positioned to combat fraud better than ever before. The impact of Insurance fraud in Canada is estimated at more than $1.6 billion dollars annually.

About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's Initiatives, its partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.

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SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.

For further information:

Media Contact: 
Glenn Cooper
Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
Aviva Canada Inc.
Desk: (416) 288-2685, Mobile: (416) 523-3225

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