The Insurance Bureau of Canada and Financial Services Commission of Ontario kicked off Fraud Prevention Month on Thursday by reminding consumers of how to report insurance fraud, especially in auto insurance in the province.
Fraud Prevention Month runs through March across Canada as an education awareness campaign about various types of fraud.
All month, the federal Competition Bureau will host awareness initiatives, and the department has also launched a “Little Black Book of Scams” as a resource for Canadian consumers. Fraud tips can also be reported through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
In Ontario, both IBC and FSCO have recommended that consumers report suspected insurance fraud to Crime Stoppers, IBC’s tip line or to FSCO directly, while also rehashing prevention tips such as ensuring insurers and brokers are properly licensed.
The groups also cited the Ontario Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force Final Report, which suggests auto insurance fraud in the province costs consumers up to $1.6 billion a year in insurance premiums, not including additional health care, emergency services and court costs.
IBC is also pointing out to consumers that exaggerated claims constitute fraud. “When someone makes a false or exaggerated claim, honest policyholders pay for it,” noted Rick Dubin, vice-president of investigations at IBC. “Insurance criminals take money right out of your pocket. When they cheat, you pay.”
IBC also launched a new video featuring Dubin about fraud and exaggerated claims.