Fraud happens all days of the year and it can happen to anyone. One of the increasingly common fraud these days is auto insurance fraud. Current data states that Ontario loses approximately $1.6 billion a year to auto insurance fraud. That’s $1.6 billion that goes straight to the pockets of crooks and $1.6 billion that could have been put to better use.
Because so much resources get siphoned away by perpetrators of auto insurance fraud, it is one of the biggest factors that drives up insurance cost, thereby affecting all of us.
Ontario legislature recently passes Bill 15, the government’s answer to the additional need to protect consumers by helping to reduce insurance fraud and regulating tow and storage services. Together with police services and crime stoppers across the country like Haywood Hunt & Associates INC. Investigation Services, this bill will not only help investigate fraud but also help to raise awareness about its prevalence.
To join the fight against auto insurance fraud, let’s brush up on some key data below.
Types of Insurance Fraud
- Personal injury fraud
- Vehicle Identification Number alteration to pass off an unsafe vehicle as safe.
- Stage collisions and commonly associated service-supplier fraud
Tips to Detect and Avoid Auto Insurance Fraud
- Be an aware buyer. Knowing your vehicle’s history as well as making sure that you’re purchasing from a reputable dealer will not only save you from fraud but also a lot of other vehicle-related problems down the road. It pays to stay away from ‘Too Good To Be True’ sort of deals.
- Check and inspect vehicles for flood damage before purchase. Silt or sand under the carpets, headliner cloth, floor mats, and behind the dashboard can mean that the vehicle you’re about to purchase has been underwater in the past. Don’t forget to check for mildew and water stains too!
- Consult a certified mechanic before buying a vehicle.
- See if the vehicle has just been reVINed or if it has been branded as non-repairable in the past by checking for rust above areas where water does not usually reach.
- Avoid situations for a staged collision such as when you’re tailgating the vehicle in front of you. It pays to keep distance.
- Report any suspected case of staged collision by calling the police to the scene of the accident.
- Document everything that you can in the event of a collision. Take photos or videos of the damage, write down the vehicle license plate number, note the other driver’s behavior, and watch out for red flags of a scam.
- Call your insurance representative as soon as possible in the event of a collision and know your insurance’s coverage and policy.
- Make sure to use a trusted tow truck service. Additionally, read everything before signing anything and note down the tow truck’s licensing number. You can also ask for your vehicle to be towed to your chosen location.
- If you suspect that you’re being victimized by a scammer, call the Haywood Hunt team or local authorities for guidance.
Yes, fraud is everywhere, but equipped with knowledge about how fraud cases work will help you detect and avoid it. We’re here to spread fraud awareness and thus, empower you so that you too can help fight fraud. Don’t hesitate to consult with us if you have any questions.