Worried about auto insurance fraud?
The results of a recent poll commissioned by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario revealed that nearly half of respondents fear they are vulnerable to fraudulent activity with regards to their auto insurance, and that 56% don’t have enough information to protect themselves from such fraud. At Peace Hills, we take insurance fraud very seriously and want to make sure our policyholders are both aware of the risks and armed with the resources to mitigate their exposure to these risks.
The most common concerns surrounding auto insurance fraud include fake pink slips, insurance agent scams, staged auto collisions and inflated repair costs.
Fake Pink Slips
While we strongly encourage holding onto your physical pink slips, the introduction of going paperless is one way to ensure that your documents are legitimate. Signing up for ‘My Proof of Insurance’ (MPOI) for your Peace Hills policies is not just a way to leave bulky paper behind, but is also Canada’s leading solution for securely receiving your insurance documents. All MPOI emails are sent using secure Transport Layer Security encryption and auto insurance cards are stored using mobile digital wallet technology trusted by all major Canadian banks. Learn more about MPOI and sign up to go paperless here.
Insurance Agent Scams
Peace Hills believes that working with the Independent Broker Network is the best way Canadians can access the right insurance coverage for them and at a fair price. As opposed to direct writers, Brokers offer different products and prices, encouraging competition in the marketplace, and professional advice, allowing you to choose the best value and coverage in line with your needs.
You can trust that any Broker selling Peace Hills products listed here is a licensed professional.
Staged Auto Collisions
While staged auto collisions are much more prevalent in Ontario than Alberta, we do still see our fair share. Our in-house Special Investigations Unit (SIU) conducted 256 investigations in 2022, 175 of them were auto insurance related. Mark Kassian, one of our Investigators in the SIU team, warns that “we are indeed starting to see an increase in staged collisions. Collaboration and intelligence gathering from anyone involved is necessary to combat these individuals and groups.”
Here are some tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) to avoid a staged collision:
- Drive defensively and do not tailgate. Allow enough space between you and the vehicle ahead of you; watch for hazards; look beyond the vehicles ahead of you; and adjust your driving speed to weather, road and traffic conditions.
- Be cautious in accepting the right of way.
- Always be aware of the position of other vehicles around you in case you are required to take evasive action.
If you’ve been in a collision, here are some additional tips from the IBC to protect yourself from fraud:
- Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles and any debris, including skid marks
- Identify and take note of the occupants of the vehicle; a big red flag would be any occupants who do not want to name themselves or be associated with the collision
- Be suspicious of strangers making referrals to service providers and shops to use; use professionals that you trust or have been recommended to you by your insurance provider
- If you suspect any fraudulent activity regarding the collision, tell law enforcement immediately
Lastly, here is an accident report form from the IBC that you should keep handy in your vehicle or mobile device for quick access after you’ve been in a collision. The form will ensure you collect important details that your insurance company or law enforcement will need to know once it has been reported.
Inflated Repair Costs
To minimize your inconvenience and handle your loss efficiently, Peace Hills Insurance offers an approved body shop program. Our list of approved, “Gold Medal” shops have been carefully chosen and meet our strict standards of having modern equipment and facilities, a reputation for high quality and fair prices, and all work being guaranteed for as long as you own the vehicle. The advantages of going to an approved shop are not having to shop around for estimates and that your repairs will commence immediately following the approval of the estimate from your Peace Hills Claims representative.
Download our “Gold Medal Service” brochure here for more information, or search now for an approved body shop near you here.