Canadian Underwriter

Drivers fear fraud, but don’t take an elementary step to prevent it

March 10, 2023   by Alyssa DiSabatino

High tech car thief using an tablet to access a car door lock

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Insurance broker scams are among the primary ways drivers believe they could be susceptible to fraud, yet only 1 in 5 respondent auto policyholders took the time to check with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) to ensure they are working with a licensed insurance professional or business, found a recent poll commissioned by FSRA.  

A full three-quarters of consumers believe auto insurance fraud is prevalent in Ontario, and more than 40% of them are worried they could fall victim to it, found the survey of 1,027 people across the province. About two-thirds of respondents were auto insurance policyholders, and one-third were not.  

Drivers believe insurance agent scams (51%) and fake pink slips (51%) are two of the most difficult fraud schemes to identify.  

Staged auto collisions (43%) and inflated repair costs (40%) follow closely.  

But how can the industry step in? Consumers are in need of resources and information on fraud, but don’t know where to turn.

In fact, the majority (85%) do not recall seeing any publicly available information on auto insurance fraud and how to prevent it, FSRA found.

Only 20% know to which organization to report auto insurance fraud. Another 69% say that not enough is being done to educate consumers about auto insurance fraud.  

Plus, only just over half (55%) say they are confident in their ability to identify auto insurance fraud if it was happening to them.  

With that, 82% of consumers are adept to the fact that insurance fraud is increasing the cost of their premiums. 

“Auto insurance fraud is an issue that impacts all drivers. Not only does auto insurance fraud cost victims directly, but it can also raise premiums across the province,” said Tim Bzowey, FSRA’s executive vice president of auto/insurance products.  

The poll found 76% acknowledge that consumers can play a role in preventing auto insurance fraud. Yet, more than half (56%) claim they don’t know enough about fraud to protect themselves from it.

Fortunately, the majority (83%) say they have never been a victim of auto insurance fraud. 


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