Auto Insurance

Auto insurance fraud is really pissing off Ontario drivers

By: Jessica Mach on December 7, 2018

Ontario drivers believe insurance fraud is widespread and they’re not happy about it, a new poll from Aviva has found.

Aviva’s second annual Auto Fraud report, released Tuesday, found that more than half of Ontario residents believe that 25% of auto insurance claims are fake. The report aims to find out why the province’s drivers pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country.

Aviva asked drivers whether they believe that fraud is driving premium rates up, and the results show a public whose trust in the insurance industry is shaky at best.

Much of this distrust is aimed at auto repair shops — a staggering 88% of Aviva’s respondents believe that shops artificially inflate the cost of vehicle repairs.

But fellow drivers are also under scrutiny: 82% of those polled blame high premiums on personal injury claims and vehicle theft, in addition to fraudulent vehicle repairs.

Out of the 10 cars that Aviva sent out for repair, nine out of 10 were subjected to fraudulent activity.

These numbers are up from last year, when Aviva published its first Auto Fraud report. In 2017, only 77% of respondents suspected fraudulent activity from auto repair shops, while 81% said that personal injury claims, vehicle theft, and fraudulent repairs were responsible for sky high premiums.

Awareness of fraudulent repairs has increased over the past year largely thanks to Aviva itself. In March, the insurer reported that Ontario drivers pay about $547 million a year to cover fake auto repair costs. The report was based on footage that Aviva spent a year secretly recording at auto repair shops, which showed that shop employees were significantly overcharging customers, billing customers for services they never even provided and even damaging vehicles on purpose to justify higher repair bills.

Out of the 10 cars that Aviva sent out for repair, nine out of 10 were subjected to fraudulent activity.

Until July, when British Columbia’s auto insurance rates began to outpace those of Ontario, Ontario drivers had been paying the highest premiums in the country — $1,428 per driver, according to Aviva.

“Dishonest claimants and service providers continue to cheat consumers. We are seeing a troubling and egregious form of fraud that includes the fraudulent sale and issuing of auto policies,” said Aviva president and CEO Colm Holmes.

“Honest drivers pay higher premiums because of criminal fraud. They know it. We know it. And the time has come to fight back.” 

 

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