Canadian Underwriter

Regulators suspend broker over fraudulent auto claim

March 28, 2024   by David Gambrill

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A former Alberta broker who was suspended for a year last July for submitting a fraudulent auto insurance claim has had her B.C. licence suspended for a year, starting March 2024.

B.C.’s insurance council said it was revoking her licence for a similar period, consistent with the disciplinary findings of the Alberta regulator. B.C.’s regulator noted the former Alberta broker had not informed the B.C. broker regulator of the final decision by the Alberta Insurance Council (AIC), in keeping with the B.C. regulator’s request of her in a letter.

“Council has determined that this is a situation to which its reciprocal enforcement policy…applies,” the B.C. regulator states in its decision, released Mar. 14. “The licensee has been suspended by the AIC – ‘another financial services regulator’ – for a one year period. As such, it is appropriate for [Insurance] Council [of B.C.] to take ‘equivalent action.’”

Rilanne Pardy received a one-year suspension from the AIC because the regulator’s investigation found she had misinformed her insurer about who was driving the car when a collision occurred on Aug. 1, 2022.

Four people were in the car when they all left a friends’ place at 10 pm. They had been visiting friends at a private residence for a couple of hours. The crash occurred after they left the home.

In her claim, submitted as evidence to the AIC, Pardy reported to the insurer there were four passengers in the car at the time of the collision — herself, her husband, and two other passengers (identified in Alberta’s council decision as ‘Passenger 1’ and ‘Passenger 2’). Passenger 1 was a former employee of the same brokerage where Pardy worked.

Related: Broker banned for committing insurance fraud

The car’s occupants told claims investigators conflicting stories about who was driving the car.

Passenger 1 told claims investigators that Pardy’s husband was driving the car. She sat behind him in the passenger seat. Pardy was sitting in the front, next to her husband, and Passenger 2 was seated in the back seat next to Passenger 1. Passenger 1 said everyone but her was wearing a seatbelt.

Pardy’s account was that Passenger 1 was driving the car. Pardy was sitting next to her in the front seat, her husband sat in the back seat behind Passenger 1, and Passenger 2 sat next to him.

The senior claims investigator obtained evidence from the vehicle’s event data recorder, including seatbelt status, airbag deployment, and speed of the vehicle just prior to the accident. He noted the data showed all passengers except the person sitting behind the driver were wearing seatbelts.

In the senior claims investigator’s first interview with Pardy, she told him her husband was sitting behind the driver. When asked if her husband was wearing a seatbelt, Pardy responded ‘Yes,’ according to evidence in the Alberta regulator’s summary of the case.

When confronted with event recorder data’s conflicting evidence, Pardy told the senior investigator she could not explain the discrepancy between the evidence and her account.

In a second interview with Pardy, the senior claims investigator told her matching DNA from the deployed airbags to everyone in the vehicle was a possibility to aid in determining who was the actual driver of the vehicle during the collision.

At that point, Pardy said she may have been mistaken and that her husband was driving the vehicle. However, he was tired, she told him, and he had switched places with Passenger 1 at the side of the road before the crash.

She subsequently asked for her claim to be withdrawn, but the insurer denied the claim.

In the SIU’s final report, submitted to the AIC as evidence, the investigator revealed the contents of a call to Passenger 2 about the crash. The notes state:

[PASSENGER 2:] “They told me to say [Passenger 1] was driving [Passenger 1] was not, [Passenger 1] was in the back of the vehicle with me. […] [The broker’s spouse] was driving so fast and good think [sic] [the broker’s spouse] didn’t turn or we would all be dead. [The broker’s spouse] went straight off the corner into the field and hit a post.

“They kept telling me to say [Passenger 1] was driving [Passenger 1] was not, [Passenger 1] has a bruise on [her] arm and it will prove it based on the airbags that [she] was not in the front seat. […]”

The insurer submitted the final SIU report to the brokerage, which terminated Pardy’s employment. The brokerage contacted the regulator to have the broker’s licence revoked.

B.C.’s broker regulator noted the licence of the former Alberta broker had held a Level 2 licence in B.C. since February 2021. Her B.C. licence has been inactive since July 2023, when the Alberta regulator suspended her Alberta licence for a year. She had held her Alberta licence since 2007.

Pardy told the B.C. regulator she had forgotten to inform it of the AIC’s suspension because she “had forgotten about the requirement due to the stress experienced at the time.”


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