Canadian Underwriter

New industry anti-fraud group gets its first CEO

July 19, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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Terri O’Brien, a former vice president at TD Bank, is now CEO of Équité Association, the anti-fraud organization announced Monday.

Équité Association is a new organization that integrates Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS) and the IBC’s investigative services division. Chaired by Aviva Canada CEO Jason Storah, Équité Association is an industry-wide organization that intends to address insurance fraud by using analytics and coordinating investigations.

O’Brien was previously chief risk officer at Pace Credit Union. O’Brien’s other previous roles include chief risk officer at Interac Corp. and vice president for TD Bank’s North American anti-fraud strategy.

It was February 2020 when IBC announced its intent to transition IBC’s investigative service division and CANATICS into an industry-wide anti-fraud service provider. At the time, the Équité Association name had yet to be announced. At that time, IBC said an industry advisory group would “lead the development of a strategy to ensure a smooth transition of anti-fraud services to a single entity.”

CANATICS was launched in 2015 in response to the report of Ontario’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force, released in 2012. CANATICS lets member insurers pool their data in order to “connect the dots.” An example is a situation in which the same vehicle was insured with multiple different carriers over several years and involved in different suspicious claims. Among other things, CANATICS investigated Ontario auto claims involving crime rings, staged collisions and service providers who fraudulently bill insurance companies for services that were not performed or not needed.

“Insurance fraud is a serious matter and one that has become more pervasive and emboldened through technology and digitalization,” Équité Association said July 19, 2021 in the release announcing O’Brien’s appointment as CEO.

“An astute and innovative leader, Terri integrates risk practices into strategic planning and governance. Her leadership focuses on communication, transparency and coaching, supporting both institutional and personal growth within her teams,” Équité Association said.

CANATICS was a topic of discussion in 2019 at Connected Insurance Canada. CANATICS was “a great start,” to having insurers co-operate with one another in addressing fraud, said Gordon Rasbach, a former vice president of property claims and fraud management for Aviva Canada, during a panel at Connected Insurance Canada, produced by Insurance Nexus and held at the Marriott Eaton Centre in Toronto.

One drawback of CANATICS is that membership is voluntary, Rasbach said in 2019 at Connected Insurance Canada.

“The biggest hurdle is we are not mandating it,” Rasbach said at that time of sharing information on fraudulent or suspicious auto claims. “A lot of large insurers – probably three of the six largest ones; I am not going to name them – are so uncomfortable in actually asking for regulation to the industry because of the regulatory history in Ontario on the accident benefits side. They are just gun shy and until that happens, this problem will never get resolved.”

Feature image courtesy of Insurance Bureau of Canada

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1 Comment » for New industry anti-fraud group gets its first CEO
  1. Health Advocate says:

    Similar to the regulator, this organization is another puppet of the large auto insurers like Aviva. Their so called “analytics” are not independent or unbiased. Their “analysis” is designed to promote and protect the careers and compensation of the multitudes hired by an insurance industry designed to deny claims. For years Ontario has been plagued by the unexamined but forgone conclusion that every fluctuation or pattern in claims data is due to fraud. There is a complete absence of independent analysis that digs behind the statistics and examines the fundamental systems and financial interests that are designed to withhold premiums from funding legitimate healthcare needed by accident victims. Millions of premiums are diverted from healthcare to fund a bloated bureaucracy designed to obstruct access to healthcare. Why do we need one more organization to preserve and advance a bureaucracy that already has unlimited power to treat thousands of legitimate claims as fraudulent?

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