Cracking Down On Auto Insurance Fraud
McGuinty Government Helps Lower Costs for Ontario Drivers
Ontario is cracking down on auto insurance fraud - which will go on to benefit drivers through lower insurance premiums and increased road safety by reducing the number of staged accidents.
A new Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force will make concrete recommendations to address fraud. It will focus on prevention, detection, investigation and enforcement, as well as consumer education.
Announced in the 2011 Ontario Budget, the task force builds on other initiatives undertaken by the government to help the auto insurance industry address fraud, including:
- A package of auto insurance reforms implemented in September 2010;
- A newly established Health Claims for Auto Insurance database to detect potentially fraudulent activity; and
- New rules to ensure that consumers are actually receiving the treatments invoiced by health care clinics and other providers.
The Task Force Steering Committee, chaired by Fred Gorbet, will include representatives from the insurance industry, academia and the justice sector, as well as a consumer advocate.
- The steering committee will provide a number of reports to the government, including immediate action recommendations this fall and final recommendations by fall 2012.
- Insurance industry reports estimate fraud to be nearly a billion dollar business in Ontario.
- Auto insurance fraud generally falls into two categories: opportunistic fraud is the padding of originally legitimate claims; premeditated fraud includes activities such as staged collisions or billing for services not provided.
- Under the McGuinty government, auto insurance rates have risen at a slower pace than inflation, and Ontario's accident benefits remain the most generous in Canada when compared to other provinces with similar auto insurance marketplaces.
“Fraud leads to higher auto insurance premiums. Our government continues to keep an eye on rates and premiums and we have made changes to the auto insurance system to stabilize rates for drivers and protect the rights of accident victims.”
“Auto insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. The task force will help us determine the full scope of the problem so that we can work to eliminate this form of criminal activity from the province”
“Auto insurance fraud leads to more than just higher premiums - it makes the roads more dangerous. Premeditated fraud can have further costs, such as injuries suffered by innocent drivers and passengers as a result of staged collisions.”
“I am very impressed with the experience and expertise of my fellow task force members, and I'm confident that we can work with stakeholders to define the extent of auto insurance fraud and recommend effective ways to deal with it”