What is Insurance Fraud and How do I Protect Myself

What is Insurance Fraud and How do I Protect Myself

Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary helps our customers save money through good risk assessment and a personal awareness of avoidable insurance events, including insurance fraud.

Who Does Insurance Fraud Affect?

Insurance fraud in Canada is on the rise, and takes many forms. Some types can even turn you into an unwitting participant. Fraud affects everyone, especially if you allow it to.

The most important thing to remember about insurance fraud is that the perpetrator is indirectly stealing money from you. Though not yet on the scale of the problem in the U.S., by some estimates domestic insurance fraud consumes a certain percentage of every premium dollar paid. If there were no such thing as fraud everyone would pay lower insurance rates.

Auto Accident Fraud

A particularly nefarious type of insurance fraud revolves around automobile accidents. There are entire criminal rings that have been known to set up interlocking business pieces to maximize both the cost of the fraud to the insurer, but also to you personally.

Though still rare in Canada, especially in Alberta, it is not unheard of to have enterprising criminals stage an accident with a “mark.” In the most sophisticated of these efforts, criminal conspiracy profits from every aspect of the collision. 

For instance, a driver in front of you is abruptly slowing down and closing the distance between your vehicle and theirs. Perhaps then they suddenly throw on a blinker and the brakes and cause you to collide into the rear of their car. You have just been involved in a likely staged collision. What to do?

The first thing to do is safely get both vehicles to the side of the road. Then, call the police. While waiting, obtain the most information you can from them. Be sure to note their license plate and the model and colour of their vehicle, and also photograph the damage to both vehicles, and even, if you can, a picture of the person with whom you were involved in the accident.

Common Sense Is Key

Just as you take basic precautions against being defrauded online, you can protect yourself, and your future premium dollars, by taking common sense steps against in person insurance fraud. Don’t tailgate. Be a good witness and report wrongdoers. And always call the police if involved in an accident you feel may have been staged.

At Bow Valley Insurance of Calgary, we are independent brokers of the competing auto insurance products of several nationally recognized insurers. Contact us for a free quote on all your insurance needs.