Although only a very small percentage of individuals commit insurance fraud in Canada, it does affect everyone, whether you may be aware of it or not. When a lot of people game the insurance system, the companies offering insurance services have to hike up their fees to cover the expenses. Not fun for many, but then fraudsters only care about themselves. This is why everyone should take an active role in protecting themselves from insurance scams.
Protect Yourself from Being a Victim of Insurance Fraud
So what constitutes insurance fraud? Insurance fraud happens when an individual or a group of persons deceives an insurance provider to get some money. They do this with full knowledge of the act and can be very resourceful when fabricating or exaggerating a claim.
Because insurance fraud can occur in so many different ways and may involve a wide range of participants, protecting yourself from it needs more than just common sense. You’d have to know the tell-tale signs of insurance scam so that you can proactively avoid falling for it. Below are some tips and tricks on how you can protect yourself from insurance fraud.
Tow Truck Service Insurance Fraud Prevention Tips
Although regulations on how tow truck companies should conduct business varies across Canada, there’s a general set of guidelines on how they should act professionally. The first thing you should do in case of an auto accident is to call your insurance broker and of course, do not allow your car to be towed if there are any red flags that show questionable business practices.
- Do not be tempted to use the first tow truck driver who’ll show up.
- Ask to see the tow truck driver’s license and tow company license.
- It is best to use a tow truck company that is recommended by your Roadside Assistance Coverage (if you have one).
- Do not get swayed into using healthcare providers and auto repair shops that are recommended by the tow truck driver. Some drivers get referral fees when they bring in customers/clients to such businesses and that is a questionable business practice. You should choose auto repair shops and healthcare providers that you are comfortable with.
- Do not sign an incomplete form that is handed to you by the tow truck driver and be sure to read the fine print.
Healthcare Providers Insurance Scam Prevention Tips
Although it is very important that you get treated for any injuries as soon as possible, it is also very important that you receive treatment from an accredited a qualified healthcare provider.
- It would be best to choose a clinic from a trusted network or ask your family doctor for referral when it comes to choosing healthcare providers. The tow truck driver isn’t the most reliable source of information on this matter.
- If your instinct says something is not right, it’s most likely true.
- Note that the document that you would sign should list your actual injuries and symptoms only. Any exaggeration or additional ‘injuries’ written in there to increase the amount of your claim constitutes insurance fraud.
- Do not sign any document if you have any concerns or unanswered questions. Be wary that some clinics will make you sign a form which makes you responsible for payment in case something is not covered by your insurance. It would be wise to know what expenses are covered by your policy and which are not.
- Do not accept the use of any assistive devices unless you truly need it, and in case you need it, you may want to check if it’s covered by your insurance or you’ll end up paying for it.
Insurance Scam Prevention Tips for Staged Collisions and Fake Accidents
- If you suspect that the accident you were in or have witnessed is staged, notify your Claims Advisor or the proper authorities.
- Are there any odd behaviour or anything weird about the accident? If the accident is a very minor one and the passengers in the other vehicle are claiming that they have severe injuries, then it might be time to call the police (they can be a witness to the accident too).
- Are the people in the other vehicle refusing to call the police or refusing to provide information about themselves or their vehicle? You may have a reason to be suspicious.
- If vehicular contact was clearly avoidable and it seems that the other vehicle went out of its way to make contact with your vehicle just to cause a collision, this might be a staged collision.
- If you can, record any important information about the other vehicle. License plates, names of passengers, and injuries are all pertinent data. Take photos and/or videos as much as possible. This prevents fraudsters from claiming a lot more injuries and adding fictitious passengers to get more insurance money later.
Thinking you might have been a victim of insurance fraud or do you suspect that someone might be involved in insurance scamming? Then you might want to avail of our insurance investigation service. As one of the leading private investigators in Toronto, we’ve investigated and helped stop scams in their tracks. Contact us for a confidential assessment today!
- Is the Coronavirus Causing an Increase in Cyber Affairs? - May 21, 2020
- COVID-19 Insurance Scams to Watch Out For - May 11, 2020
- Is the COVID-19 Changing the Pattern of Criminal Activity in Canadian Cities? - May 6, 2020