Canadian Underwriter

IBC investigative services to be transferred to Équité Association

September 28, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Investigative Services division is being transferred to a new organization, Équité Association, effective Oct. 1. That transfer has been approved by IBC’s board, IBC announced Monday.

Équité Association integrates IBC’s investigative services division with the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS). Équité Association provides include fraud detection, investigative solutions and an intelligence-sharing hub to property and casualty insurers.

“Both Équité and IBC are committed to a smooth transition that will not disrupt current services or ongoing investigations,” IBC said Sept. 27.

“As insurance fraud becomes increasingly sophisticated, I’m pleased to see the industry respond by creating a unified organization that will combine world-class analytics and investigative techniques, and cross-insurer intelligence sharing,” IBC CEO Don Forgeron said in a release.

Équité Association is led by CEO Terri O’Brien, who was previously chief risk officer at Pace Credit Union. Aviva Canada CEO Jason Storah is chairman of the Équité Association.

Launched in 2015, CANATICS is designed to let member insurers pool their data in order to “connect the dots.” CANATICS was formed in response to the 2012 report of Ontario’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force. Examples of CANATICS investigations include auto claims involving crime rings, staged collisions and service providers sending invoices, to insurance carriers, for services that were not performed.

Équité is intended to serve as a central point for insurance crime data. Équité says it will integrate cross-insurer data analytics from CANATICS and IBC’s investigative services.

One example of an insurance fraud scheme is when three conspirators jump into a vehicle after it was involved in a left-turn accident, IBC investigation services vice president Richard Dubin told a House of Commons committee in 2015.

In that example, there is no significant damage, no witnesses other than the drivers and police are not called to attend.  The three “jump-ins” claim to have been passengers, are reporting soft tissue injury but did not report it at the time of the collision. Dubin provided this example in 2015 when the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology was holding hearings on the Digital Privacy Act, which has since been passed into law. One impact of the Digital Privacy Act is insurers can now disclose personal information, without the knowledge or consent of the person, for the purpose of preventing, detecting or suppressing fraud.

Feature image via Le Moal

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