By Tom Davis
Toronto, Ontario -- November 27, 2017 -- Health is better than wealth, but when you're tricked out of money for something that wasn't your fault it can be infuriating. This is a worry for Canadians from coast to coast who are “deeply concerned” about the amount of money that so-called “cheaters” are draining out of the automotive insurance system, according to a new fraud report from Aviva Canada. The report claims that drivers across the country want to fight fraud to lower the premiums paid by “honest” drivers.
The 'Crash, Cash and Backlash: Aviva Fraud Report 2017', which surveyed 1,502 Canadians from all 10 provinces, is the first in a series of annual reports on insurance fraud - an issue Aviva claims is “plaguing honest Canadians everywhere.” The report focuses on auto insurance fraud, stating fraud is not a victimless crime.
"Honest consumers are paying an estimated $2 billion per year in added costs for criminal frauds being perpetrated on the auto insurance system. It's time to fight back. This report shows that Canadians agree with us," commented Greg Somerville, President and CEO, Aviva Canada.
81 percent of surveyed Canadians feel that the increase in their insurance premiums is due to fraudulent vehicle repairs, vehicle theft or personal injury claims. 67 percent feel that cracking down on fraud would reduce their current auto insurance premiums. 77 percent of the survey’s respondents believe that government agencies and law enforcement bodies are allocating more resources to policing and prosecuting Canadians who have submitted fraudulent claims.
Personal injury lawyers were largely cited as being responsible for fraudulent claims. 50 percent of Canadians believe there is too much advertising encouraging people to use personal injury lawyers, and 60 percent believe that personal injury lawyers are required in only a "small number of cases.”
"Aviva has campaigned to remove fraud from the system for many years,” added Somerville. “Consumers have told us with certainty that the system is not working in their interests. I agree. They will pay less for insurance if we fight fraud. Let's attack this problem together.”
The answer to fighting fraud, and what it claims to be wrong with the current system, was laid out in the report. It concluded, “no one can solve this problem on their own. Everyone has a role to play.”
Aviva Canada claims the answer to fight fraud includes these measures:
- Insurers need to take a zero tolerance approach to fraud in order to protect honest policyholders.
- Consumers can avoid being a victim of fraud by recognizing and reporting suspected fraud. The report outlines specific tips for consumers.
- Provincial governments need to actively partner in the fight against fraud.
- Provincial regulators should have a clear mandate to work with the insurance industry to fight fraud. More resources need to be dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of fraud. The trend of light consequences needs to be reversed.
For more information and for the full report, please visit avivacanada.com.