With January being Crime Stoppers Month, Insurance Bureau of Canada is encouraging Canadians to be vigilant against insurance fraud.
Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. Whether opportunistic or premediated, insurance fraud is a significant issue in Canada resulting in higher premiums for consumers and delay of services for the people in real need.
“Fraud is a crime of deception,” said Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigative Services at IBC. “When undetected, fraudulent claims are paid using the premiums of honest policyholders. Your best defence against insurance fraud is a good offence. Be educated and aware, as fraudsters can easily take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.”
IBC has long advocated for legislative changes and for the courts to take these crimes more seriously through harsher penalties in order to create deterrents, and we have seen results, including Bill 15 passed last year by the Ontario government, which amended various statutes to help reduce insurance fraud, regulate towing and storage services, and protect consumers.
IBC works with insurers and law enforcement authorities to detect, deter and disrupt opportunistic and premeditated insurance fraud schemes that put public safety at risk. Recently, IBC assisted Toronto Police Services, the Canadian Border Services Agency and other law enforcement agencies to identify over 200 high-end vehicles, worth an estimated $11 million and return them to their rightful owners. Some of the vehicles that this car theft ring is accused of stealing were allegedly reVINed, fraudulently registered and sold to unsuspecting buyers. But the majority of the vehicles were to be shipped to the lucrative markets of West Africa, with the profits of their sales most likely funding organized crime and possibly terrorist activities.
“Insurance crime is big business. When they cheat, we all pay,” continued Dubin. “IBC and police services rely on help from the community to catch fraudsters. That is why we encourage people with information about insurance crime to call our anonymous TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Ariella Kimmel, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312 (office), 416-550-9062 (after hours), firstname.lastname@example.org
By Christian Bieck and Craig Bedell, IBM
The insurance industry is facing a broad range of disruptive forces: changing demographics, volatile economies, sophisticated fraud attacks and rapid digitization of the industry.
At the same time, empowered consumers are demanding more from their insurance providers. Yet the traditionally conservative insurance industry has been slow in recognizing customers as individuals and providing personalized products and services.
In a recent IBM Institute for Business Value survey, 41 percent of respondents said that they changed insurers because the companies were too slow to react to their changing needs. That number is likely to grow as more customers become accustomed to faster and omni-channel service in other industries, such as retail.
To be successful amid such chaos and change, insurance leaders must be smarter in how they approach data. While the digital age has brought a massive amount of data brimming with potentially useful insights for insurers, organizations still struggle to unlock the full value of all that data.
Welcome to the age of cognitive computing, where cognitive-based systems can help bridge the gap between data quantity and data insights.
Intelligent machines simulate human brain capabilities to help solve society’s most vexing problems. They can build knowledge, understand natural language and provide confidence-weighted responses. And these systems can quickly identify new patterns and insights — capabilities that the insurance industry has never had before.
For the insurance industry, cognitive computing has indeed arrived, and its potential to transform the industry is enormous. Already, cognitive systems are using digital agents to help insurance underwriters make better decisions about their customers.
Our new research indicates that insurance industry leaders should focus on three areas to deal with the technological, economic and societal factors that are disrupting the industry today. They are:
1) Engagement: Cognitive systems can fundamentally change the way humans and systems interact. They can significantly extend the capabilities of humans by taking advantage of the systems’ ability to provide expert assistance. They provide advice by developing deep insights and providing this information to people in a timely, natural and usable way.
Because they are able to engage in dialogue with humans, cognitive systems can understand customers based on past communication and behavior. They use evidence-based reasoning. Today, these types of cognitive systems help insurers offer engaging and personalized interactions with consumers.
2) Discovery capabilities: Some discovery capabilities have already emerged. By using insights into customers’ behavior, providers can send personalized offers to individual consumers. Advanced cognitive capabilities have improved the bottom line by reducing operational costs.
In the near future, cognitive computing could scan images and contents of all legal and claims documents, and cross reference this information against each of the 50 states’ laws in the U.S., which often differ from state to state. In addition to improving costs, this process would help insurers better make better risk assessments and calculate premiums.
3) Decision capabilities: Cognitive systems aid in decision making and reduce human bias by offering evidence-based recommendations. They continually evolve based on new information, outcomes and actions. Current cognitive systems perform more as advisors by suggesting a set of options to human users, who ultimately make the final decisions.
These systems are helping insurance professionals make more informed and timely decisions. In claims management, they can greatly reduce processing times by instantly recognizing relevant passages from documents and communications.
Future applications might help underwriters assess the individual risk of each customer in a more personalized manner by combining weather data, geolocation data and other sources through mobile and newer technology.
The benefits of cognitive computing are not realized in a single “big bang” when they are initially rolled out. Instead, cognitive systems are evolutionary and provide increasing value over time. For the insurance industry, cognitive systems will enable insurers to be more nimble, more innovative and connected to their customers.
Christian Bieck is the Global Insurance Lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value.
Craig Bedell is a Global Insurance Industry Executive for IBM
When the insurer Geico started selling auto policies in Massachusetts in 2009, it used low prices, a big Internet presence, and ubiquitous advertising to grab business from competitors. But it ran head-on into a local problem: rampant insurance fraud.
Insurers here have fought back against staged car accidents, faked injuries, and bogus medical bills mostly by referring cases to law enforcement. But Geico took a different — and more controversial — tack, suing local chiropractors and physical therapists and forcing them into expensive legal battles.
Most of the cases end up settling, with the practices agreeing to no longer accept Geico clients, according to court documents, defense lawyers, and defendants.
The number of cases isn’t big: at least seven filed in state or federal court since 2012. But Geico’s use of civil courts, rather than criminal, has some defense lawyers complaining that the company is aggressively trying to avoid medical claims from clinics in lower-income communities.
“These kinds of general fraud lawsuits can have a significant chilling effect on clinics,” said Jeffrey Coniaris, a Weston lawyer, “and could easily be used to get all the clinics in any neighborhood to stop seeing patients with a certain brand of car insurance.’’
Coniaris represented Boston Therapy, an East Boston clinic that Geico took to court in 2013 over claims of about $78,000. The case was subsequently dismissed.
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