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Top Auto Insurance Fraud Cases of 2015 in BC

Auto accident insurance fraud negatively impacts everyone. In BC, insurance fraud is costing drivers hundreds of millions a year! On average, it is costing every BC driver over $100 annually on their insurance policy. Although the majority of people stay away from fraudulent or grossly exaggerated claims, it is estimated that 10 to 20% of auto insurance claims contain fraud or exaggeration. To counter this, ICBC has committed to catching people trying to scam the system. As part of this effort, they have launched the Hall of Shame campaign recently. In this campaign, they have shared some of the top fraud claims of 2015. These claims have been summarized below.


Avoiding Dish Duty

A man made the claim that his injuries from a car accident prevented him from helping out around the house, namely doing the dishes. He was caught at his job lifting heavy boxes of floor tiles. He was fined $1500 after being convicted of fraud.


Two Paycheques

A woman from Vancouver made a fraudulent claim that she could not work due to her injuries after an auto accident. However, she was caught working since the crash. She had been collecting two paycheques, one from work, and one from ICBC. She was fined $1750 and got a one year driving suspension after being convicted of exaggerating her injuries.


Mom Covering Up for Son

A woman from Vancouver Island made a fraudulent claim that her car was stolen at work. She stated that her two sons, who also use the car, stayed at home that day. The car was later discovered crashed and abandoned in Lower Mainland. Evidence and witnesses pointed to one of the sons being at the scene. The mother was fined $2300. The son was fined $1150 and got a one year driving suspension. At the time of the crash, the son’s license was already suspended, so he was sentenced to an additional 90 days in jail.


Dash Cam Evidence

A man from the Lower Mainland used evidence from his dash cam to prove that his car got side-swiped. Although he was successful in proving that the collision happened, the footage from his dash cam also showed that he was riding as a passenger allowing an unlicensed driver to handle the vehicle. As a result, his claim got denied.


Technology Records

A man from the Fraser Valley claimed that his BMW was stolen from his driveway at 2:00 AM. He called the police to report the incident. Police found the BMW burnt and destroyed at a neighborhood park. The man claimed only the car was stolen and not the keys. As it turns out, this BMW model has technology that records whenever the key fob was used. The police was able to prove that the keys were used after midnight which led to the discovery that the man has destroyed the car and made a false claim. His claim got denied.


Bus Trouble

An accident happened at a bus loop where a bus hit a parked fire truck. After getting passengers off the bus and exchanging important info with the driver of the fire truck, the bus driver found a man waiting for him. The man claimed to be on the bus during the collision and asked for compensation for his injuries. The footage from the bus loop’s security camera showed that the man was lying because he was not on or even near the bus when the collision happened. He was fined and had to spend a night in jail.


There were approximately 7500 investigations into insurance fraud last year, 5000 of which were fraudulent claims investigations. ICBC’s Special Investigations Unit has really stepped up its effort to stop fraud and laid 550 fraud convictions successfully from years 2010 to 2015. This year, they are looking to expand this effort by adding new tools and enhanced software to flag fraudulent claims at the beginning of the claim process.

An exaggerated or fraudulent claim is a serious offense. Convictions can lead to penalties such as jail time, denial of optional insurance coverage, asset seizure, and more. It could impact a person’s career path and opportunities, prevent them from crossing the border, and prevent them from applying for credit.

Keep in mind that fraudulent claims also increase the premiums on car insurance for all drivers. If you see activity you suspect is linked to auto insurance fraud, contact ICBC and help them with this effort to fight fraud.

(Source: Merritt Herald)

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