Ontarians, who pay among the highest auto insurance rates in the country ($1,428 per driver), are aware of insurance fraud and supportive of initiatives to fight it, according to the second annual Aviva Fraud Report, released today.

The report contains new polling data on public awareness about insurance fraud in Ontario and shows that drivers are aware of the severe problem. In fact, over 50% of Ontarians believe that 25% of claims are fraudulent. It further shows that the driving public is supportive of actions to combat fraud.

In 2017, it was estimated that Canadians were paying $2 billion per year out of pocket for costs associated with different types of fraud perpetrated against the auto insurance system. Over the past year in Ontario alone, consumer awareness on insurance fraud has grown. For example:

  • 88% of Ontarians think that auto repair shops inflate the cost of vehicle repairs, compared to 77% in 2017.
  • 86% of Ontarians support government and law enforcement agencies investing more resources to investigate and prosecute fraudulent claims, compared to 78% in 2017.

“Dishonest claimants and service providers continue to cheat consumers. We are seeing a troubling and egregious form of fraud that includes the fraudulent sale and issuing of auto policies,” said Colm Holmes, President and CEO, Aviva Canada. “We need to do better for honest drivers. That’s why Aviva is fighting fraud. Honest drivers pay higher premiums because of criminal fraud. They know it. We know it. And the time has come to fight back.”

Key findings of the Aviva Fraud Report 2018

  • 86% of Ontarians feel that more needs to be done to combat fraud.
  • 82% feel the increase in their auto insurance premium is due to fraudulent vehicle repairs, to vehicle theft or to personal injury claims.
  • 73% agree that cracking down on fraud would reduce their current auto insurance premium.

Support of new actions to fight fraud
The results show clear support from Ontario drivers for new actions by government and the insurance industry that can help address situations where:

  • people exaggerate claims,
  • automotive, healthcare and legal suppliers resort to fraudulent practices, and
  • opportunists fraudulently sell policies online and distribute policies.

To effectively tackle auto insurance fraud

  • 74% support a new set of provincial insurance fraud offences.
  • 70% feel that insurance companies need to invest more resources to combat fraud. 60% support an online fraud intelligence database that consumers can access:
    • 72% would use it look up an auto body shop following a car collision
    • 58% would use it to look up a healthcare practitioner for treatment of injuries following a car collision

To help lower insurance rates

  • 59% believe that insurance companies should be mandated to invest in an insurance fraud management model and a clear set of penalties and fines for those convicted of fraud.

To protect consumers

  • 53% feel that government, insurance companies, other organizations fighting fraud, and police all need to take responsibility for warning consumers about insurance fraud schemes.
  • 77% feel that insurance companies that have uncovered fraud schemes should make the information available to the public in real time.

We urge consumers to be alert of any suspicious activity that may lead them to become a victim of fraud. For tips on what to look for, please visit avivacanada.com/fightfraudAviva Canada customers who suspect they may be a victim of fraud can contact our 24/7 fraud hotline 1-855-332-5255 or email us at fraud.canada@aviva.com.

Notes to editors

  • The Aviva Fraud Report 2018 is available digitally here.
  • The survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insight through online interviews with 1,500 Ontarians, 18 years of age and older, with a current auto insurance policy. The interviews were carried out from October 15 – 24, 2018. The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. For a full copy of the survey results contact Aviva.
  • As part of our commitment to combat fraud, Aviva Canada:
    • Released the first annual Aviva Fraud Report in 2017 to increase consumer awareness about fraud.
    • Undertook an undercover investigation called “Project Bumper” to highlight the extent of fraud by auto body shops and tow truck operators in Ontario.
    • Issued an update to the undercover investigation codenamed “Project Duffy” into fraud carried out by healthcare professionals and a paralegal.
    • Continues to invest in identifying and investigating fraud to protect honest policyholders.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country, providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to 2.8 million customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, Aviva Canada has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and our communities.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $9.5 million to over 400 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast.

SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

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