As an Insurance Advisor, I am often asked by the public “Why are auto insurance rates so high in Ontario?”. Even though there are many factors that contribute to increased rates in Ontario, one major factor is caused by the increase in fraudulent activity. In the past decade, our province has become plagued by auto insurance fraud. Insurance companies are spending billions of dollars each year to cover fraudulent claims and these costs are eventually passed on to the consumer with higher premiums.
Staged Auto Accidents
One of the most publicized forms of auto insurance fraud is the “staging of auto accidents”, which are often part of a sophisticated criminal ring involving salvaged vehicles, phony medical clinics, towing companies, and complex paper trails. This and other forms of auto insurance fraud has caused the provincial government to combat this problem with the development in 2011 of the Ontario Auto Insurance Anti- Fraud Task Force. This task force since it’s inception has been responsible for many highly publicized convictions of individuals involved in such rings and this has helped tremendously in the reduction of fraudulent costs. As an insurance advisor and consumer, I would encourage the public to report suspected fraudulent activity as it will have an equally strong effect on this epidemic. To submit a auto insurance fraud-related tip you can call the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) at 1-877-222-TIPS or submit a confidential tip online.
Fighting fraud and lowering insurance premiums is a laudable goal that will continue to require time, money, resources and a commitment at all levels of government, law enforcement agencies and from the private sector. With greater involvement on the part of car owners and operators, we can put a dent in fraudulent activity for the benefit of all Ontarians.
To learn more visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website.