Would you report an auto accident that appears deliberate believing it to be an insurance scam? Lie about what was stolen from your vehicle when submitting a claim? Keep the insurance money from a diamond ring you thought you lost, but later found?
With March being Fraud Awareness Month, InsuranceHotline.com decided to find out, just how honest Canadians really are. The study, conducted by Leger Marketing, asked more than 1500 Canadians about their views and opinions on insurance fraud in Canada.
Turns out, we’re (mostly) an honest bunch.
Reporting Insurance Fraud
It’s been said, we all pay when others cheat, but would you be willing to report it?
Do The Right Thing
Accidents sometimes are no accident at all. Auto insurance fraudsters, looking to submit insurance claims for fake injuries and auto damage, have been known to deliberately cause an auto accident.
If you thought you had witnessed a staged accident, what would you do about it?
Chances are you’d report it: 60 per cent of Canadians would report an accident they thought was part of an insurance scam.
Love Thy Neighbour?
Reporting a stranger is one thing; reporting an insurance fraud by a neighbour is another. Only one quarter of Canadians said they would report a neighbour who they knew exaggerated the items stolen in a robbery.
Perhaps this may be higher, if people knew that they could report fraud anonymously? After all, a person’s home is their refuge, and who really wants to get involved when it is so close to home.
Did you know?
If you suspect insurance fraud and want to report it, you can do so confidentially:
1. Tell the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), by calling confidentially: 1-877-IBC-TIPS
2. Submit a confidential online tip to the IBC
3. Call the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) Fraud Hotline: 1-855-584-7669
4. Submit an anonymous online fraud tip to FSCO
@ihcom great infographic! And many thanks for encouraging consumers to report insurance fraud to us. Our Fraud Hotline is 1-855-5TIP-NOW ^KR
— FSCOTweets (@FSCOTweets) March 18, 2014
Taking Part In Insurance Fraud
- Only 12 per cent said they would put unrelated damage on an auto accident claim,
- 11 per cent would inflate what was stolen from their vehicle, and
- A mere 13 per cent would exaggerate the value of items lost if their luggage was stolen while on vacation.
Insurance is supposed to help you get back to where you started from; to put you back in the same financial position you were in prior to the loss. Inflating an insurance claim is considered opportunistic fraud; and, thankfully most of us say we wouldn’t take part in it.
What would you do? You lose your diamond ring, which is insured, but months later, find it. You’ve already received the money from your insurer for its loss. Do you return the money?
- Most say they would return the money, but 25 per cent of us would keep it.
The vast majority of us wouldn’t set out to defraud an insurance company, but the temptation is too hard to resist for some if the money basically falls in our lap.
Insurance Fraud Costs Us All
Did you know that insurance fraud costs Canadian insurance policyholders over $1 billion a year? Whether it’s organized insurance fraud like staged auto accidents or opportunistic fraud like some of the examples in the survey, all fraud ultimately hits us hard in the wallet. It’s been estimated that 15 per cent of insurance premiums go to cover fraudulent insurance claims . Think about how much you pay for your insurance, and you’ll see how much fraud costs you personally.