ICBC's zero tolerance for fraud saves motorists $75 million

    In 2006, 104 fraud-related convictions were laid against 69 defendants

    VANCOUVER, April 16 /CNW/ - B.C. motorists saved more than $75 million in
2006 thanks to ICBC anti-fraud programs. Savings are based on the estimated
value of fraudulent claims which were denied, money recovered and savings
generated through fraud prevention.
    "The rising cost of claims is a concern for ICBC. Cracking down on fraud
is one of ICBC's strategies to keep rates low and stable," said Steve Tripp,
manager Fraud Prevention and Investigation. "We will not sit back and simply
pass the cost of fraud onto our customers."
    ICBC's anti-fraud efforts led to 104 convictions against 69 defendants,
last year. More than $207,000 was paid back to ICBC in restitution and fines
in 2006, up from $73,000 in 2005. And there was a significant increase in jail
time. ICBC fraudsters were sentenced to a total 2,087 days behind bars in
    Annually, ICBC invests approximately $8 million in fraud prevention and
investigation programs, more than most property and casualty insurance
companies in Canada. Last year, ICBC's team of close to 90 investigators and
staff conducted approximately 3,000 investigations covering all types of
suspected fraud including: staged collisions, exaggerated claims, premium
fraud, licensing and identity fraud.
    The general public is also a helpful resource in cracking down on
potential fraudsters. ICBC's anonymous tip line recorded over 10,000 calls
last year. Anyone with information on a suspicious, exaggerated or fraudulent
claim is encouraged to phone 604-661-6844 or 1-800-661-6844. Information
provided to the fraud tips line is confidential and callers can remain

    Real life stories from ICBC's fraud files

    The Moose Mistake

    It doesn't pay to lie to ICBC. A Prince George resident was driving down
a logging road north-west of Mackenzie, when he lost control of the vehicle
and crashed into a tree. At the time of the crash, the driver did not have a
valid driver's licence and the vehicle he was driving belonged to his wife.
    When interviewed by ICBC, the driver and his wife lied about who was
driving at the time of the crash and claimed they collided with a moose. A
joint investigation by ICBC, and RCMP from Prince George, Terrace and Prince
Rupert uncovered the truth. The driver was sentenced to four months in jail,
while his wife received a three month conditional sentence, one year
probation, and was ordered to repay ICBC $26,360, the cost to repair the
vehicle and to investigate the fraudulent claim.

    Some Dreams Really Do Come True

    Mr. R owned two vehicles. He carried full insurance coverage on his first
vehicle, however only basic coverage on his second. Early one September
morning, Mr. R awoke suddenly and began to vividly recall his dream. He had
dreamt that his sister was going to be involved in a crash with this second
vehicle. Mr. R jumped out of bed and drove off, in his first vehicle, to the
local Autoplan agent where he promptly added full insurance coverage to his
second vehicle.
    While driving home Mr. R's sister called to report she had just been in a
crash. Mr. R. was stunned, his dream had come true. ICBC investigated the
claim and uncovered Mr. R couldn't read the future. A number of witnesses,
some with cellphone cameras, had seen his sister crash the vehicle hours prior
to Mr. R rushing out to buy additional insurance coverage. The claim was

For further information:

For further information: Doug Henderson, (604) 982-1332; Kate Best,
(604) 982-2480

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