How Ontario Drivers Can Help Fight Auto Insurance Fraud
TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - As March is Fraud Prevention Month, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is reminding drivers how they can help to fight auto insurance fraud.
"By being vigilant, Ontario drivers can help put a stop to fraudsters who abuse the auto insurance system and raise premiums for everyone," said Philip Howell, CEO and Superintendent of Financial Services.
To protect themselves from auto insurance fraud, Ontario drivers should:
Collect as much information as possible at the scene of an accident using a camera or cell phone if it is safe to do so without confrontation. It is important to record the contact information of other drivers, drivers' licence numbers and licence plate numbers and insurance information from vehicle "pink cards."
File an accident report with a Collision Reporting Centre - even if the accident is minor - to ensure there is a legally documented description of what happened.
Be suspicious of any referrals at accident site. Fraud collaborators often recommend auto body shops, storage facilities and health and legal professionals.
Refuse to sign blank forms in advance of receiving any services or health care treatment related to your accident.
Demand detailed repair and medical bills for any goods and services related to an accident and review them carefully.
If consumers suspect insurance fraud, they should also report it to police, Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS) or FSCO.
About the Financial Services Commission of Ontario
FSCO is an agency of the Ministry of Finance established under the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997. It regulates insurance, pension plans, loan and trust companies, credit unions and caisses populaires, co-operative corporations and mortgage brokerages and administrators in Ontario.
FSCO investigates allegations of misconduct, unfair practices and non-compliance with legislation or regulations in its regulated sectors. When warranted, FSCO takes enforcement action.
In its Final Report, Ontario's Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force concluded that fraud in the auto insurance system is substantial and has a significant impact on premiums.
The Task Force's Final Report contains 38 targeted recommendations on four key areas: fraud prevention, detection, investigation and enforcement and regulatory roles and responsibilities.
It's estimated that GTA drivers pay as high as $540 more on their auto insurance each year as a result of fraud, according to research conducted by Ontario's Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force.