TORONTOMarch 4, 2019 /CNW/ – Insurance crime costs us all, and there’s no better time to learn about the risks it poses than during Fraud Prevention Month. This month, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is highlighting ways to help everyone limit the personal and financial costs of auto insurance fraud.

“There are human and financial costs to insurance-related crimes, and these have a ripple effect,” said Henry Tso, IBC’s Vice-President of Investigative Services. “For example, insurance crimes such as fake accidents and falsifying insurance claims not only affect the unsuspecting victims of the collision, but also affect the general public by needlessly using up valuable law enforcement, court and health care resources that could be better used elsewhere.”

This translates into all Canadians paying a price in the forms of higher taxes and significantly higher insurance costs. “If someone tries to tell you that insurance fraud is a victimless crime, ask that person, ‘Who pays for the police investigation? Who foots the extra legal bills when an insurance fraud case clogs up the courts?'” added Tso.

IBC’s “Because of Fraud” chart, below, shows the effects of fraud on our society.

Because of fraud …

This means …

Police have to spend time investigating fake accidents, fraud schemes and crime rings

  • Fewer police resources are available to respond to emergencies, investigate other crimes and ensure public safety
  • Extra time pressure and paperwork for frontline law enforcement officers
  • Extra costs for policing that result in either higher taxes or service cuts for your family

The health care system has to assess and even treat people who don’t really need medical care

  • Longer waiting times for treatments and diagnostic tools such as X-rays
  • Ambulances (fire fighters – when they attend fraudulent accidents) and other medical attention may be delayed for people in real need
  • Extra costs for health care that result in either higher taxes or service cuts for you and your family

Criminal and civil courts must deal with time-consuming fraud cases, appeals and lawsuits

  • Other court cases take longer to be heard and justice is delayed
  • Successful fraud artists may be rewarded if their lawyers can fool the courts
  • Extra costs for the justice system that result in either higher taxes or service cuts for you and your family

“Insurance crime affects every one of us,” said Tso. “The bottom line is, when they cheat, we all pay.”

To raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight insurance crime, IBC and its member property and casualty insurers work with law enforcement agencies, all levels of government, insurance brokers’ organizations and other stakeholders across Canada.

Go to IBC.ca for tips for consumers to help protect themselves from becoming victims of insurance crime.

If you think you may have witnessed or been the victim of an insurance-related crime, call IBC’s confidential TIPS Line (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week) at 1-877-IBC-TIPS, or submit an anonymous online tip to IBC.

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 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. 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

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