May 30, 2013 by Canadian Underwriter
Four individuals have been arrested and charged after they allegedly participated in a staged auto collision in the city of Toronto’s west-end.
The alleged staged collision involved two vehicles in January 2012 at an intersection in the Etobicoke district of the city, Toronto Police Service reported.
The insurers involved in the claim, Aviva Canada and The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, retained engineers to reconstruct the reported collision and determined that one of the vehicles had allegedly rammed the other vehicle, multiple times, deliberately, according to Toronto Police Services.
The vehicle insured by Aviva contained two occupants who both had medical treatment costs submitted on their behalf by a west end Toronto clinic. Evidence collected during the investigation revealed that the vehicle occupants were asked to sign multiple treatment plans by employees at the clinic. The investigation into the clinic involvement continues, according to Aviva Canada.
According to Toronto Police Services, one individual has been charged with public mischief, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
The second individual has been charged with attempted fraud under $5,000, uttering a forged document, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
A third individual has been charged with public mischief, fraud over $5,000, uttering a forged document, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
The fourth individual has been charged with attempted fraud − under ($5,000), uttering a forged document, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. None of the charges have been proven in court. All four are scheduled to appear in court June 28, 2013.
“It has to stop. Staged collisions are extremely dangerous and are costing Ontarians too much,” said Greg Dunn, executive vice president of national claims for Aviva Canada.
The purported collision resulted in more than $45,000 in claims costs to two automobile insurers, according to Aviva Canada, which is applauding the work of the Toronto Police Service.
Aviva Canada has submitted an official complaint with the College of Chiropractors of Ontario against the chiropractor employed at the west end rehabilitation clinic, the company notes.
Aviva Canada wants to warn all drivers that staged collisions do not only involve willing participants. These types of collisions also involve unsuspecting drivers that are either purposefully hit or deliberately put in scenarios where collisions are inevitable or more likely.
“Putting others in unnecessary danger or bilking an insurance system that millions of Ontarians support is illegal, abusive and reckless,” continued Dunn. “We have committed to curbing insurance fraud to protect everyone that supports this valuable system.”
Building on already strong capabilities, Aviva Canada said it has stepped up its tough approach to tackling fraud with more dedicated resources and an investment in technology that aims to identify fraud and even anticipate the potential for fraud before it happens.
The impact of insurance fraud in Canada is estimated at over $1.6 billion dollars annually.