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The answer

No one can solve this problem on their own. Everyone has a role to play. Learn more about what you can do and what you can expect insurers and your government representatives to do on your behalf.

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Recognize and report

Consumers

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Prevent, detect and respond

Insurers

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Act swiftly

Government

The role of consumers

Help protect yourself from auto insurance fraud and avoid becoming a victim

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Becoming insured

Before handing over any money, make sure you’re dealing with a reputable, licensed insurance agent.

Ways to tell it’s not legit
number 1

If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.

Call the insurer listed on the policy to ensure that the premium you have been quoted is correct and that they have a record of your application.

number 2

They ask you to pay your premium in cash.

A reputable insurer or broker will likely ask for a cheque or credit card to cover your premium.

number 3

You do not receive a valid insurance card or a copy of your policy from your insurance provider.

Insurers will always provide you with documentation once a policy is properly set up.

number 4

Meetings only take place in public venues like coffee shops or your home.

Insurance brokers and insurers will have branded websites and/or an office.

number 5

A friend refers you to someone who can get you cheap insurance.

In turn, your friend gets a fee for referring you. A licensed insurance professional will not ask for, or take, any referral fees.

number 6

A car dealership offers to arrange for you to get cheap insurance.

This is a banned business practice.

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After an accident

Trust your instincts. If you suspect an accident may have been staged, notify your insurance company immediately.

Signs of a staged accident
number 1

Note any odd behavior.

Was the accident just a fender bender but all the passengers in the other vehicle are complaining of severe injuries? Are they reluctant to have police attend the scene? Call local police if passengers in the other vehicle refuse to provide information about themselves, the vehicle, or their insurance.

number 2

Be aware of situations where the vehicle made contact with you when it was clearly avoidable.

For example, the other vehicle waves you through even though they have the right of way. As soon as you begin moving, they dart forward and appear to deliberately cause the collision.

number 3

Record information about the other vehicle.

This includes the licence plate number and details about the passengers and the driver. If you have a camera, take as many pictures of the scene as possible.

number 4

Note how many occupants are in the vehicle.

Fraudsters try to add fictitious passengers to their claim after the accident in order to access more insurance money.

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After an accident

Towing your ride. Know your rights when dealing with tow truck operators.

Know the tow
number 1

Insurance first.

Regulations vary across Canada around how tow truck drivers should conduct business, but all tow truck drivers should act ethically and professionally. If you’ve had an auto accident, first notify your insurance broker or insurance company.

number 2

Make sure they’re licensed.

Don’t necessarily choose the first tow truck driver who arrives at the scene of the accident. At a minimum, make sure they are licensed. Contact your insurer who can recommend a reputable tow truck company.

number 3

Say 'no' to peer pressure.

Some tow truck drivers get referral fees from auto repair shops and healthcare providers — this is a questionable business practice. A tow truck driver may pressure you into using their provider, but the decision is yours. No one can tell you where you have to receive medical treatment or have your vehicle repaired. Contact your insurer to make sure the recommended vendor is reputable.

number 4

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Carefully read all documents the tow truck driver asks you to sign. If the tow truck driver has not fully completed a form, do not sign it. If you have any questions about a form, contact your insurer who will help you understand what you're signing.

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Getting Treatment

Injuries resulting from an accident should be taken seriously, and it's important that you receive treatment at the earliest opportunity from a qualified and accredited healthcare practitioner. Don't be afraid to ask your healthcare provider questions and flag any suspicious activity to your insurer.

Need a second opinion?
number 1

Do not take referrals from tow truck drivers or auto repair shops.

Go to your family doctor for a referral or choose a clinic recommended by your insurer to ensure you receive the best treatment.

number 2

Trust your instincts.

If something doesn't sound or look right, it likely isn't.

number 3

Ensure that any forms you sign only list your actual symptoms and injuries.

A healthcare provider may attempt to exaggerate or inflate your injuries in order to increase the amount of your claim.

number 4

Call your Claims Advisor before signing a document if you have any questions or concerns.

Some clinics may ask you to sign a release making you responsible for payment in the event that something is not covered by your insurance policy. It’s important to note that certain expenses are not covered under your insurance policy unless you have prior approval from your insurance company.

number 5

Do not accept any assistive devices before first confirming that you have coverage.

Often, these items are not covered, and you may be forced to pay out-of-pocket.

The role of insurers

Aviva Canada takes a zero tolerance approach to fraud to protect our honest customers

Fraud management

Building on already strong capabilities, Aviva Canada has stepped up its tough approach to tackling fraud with more dedicated resources and an investment in technology that aims to identify and anticipate fraud before it happens.

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Defensible claims program

We're leading the way to defy nuisance settlements in auto liability, defending our customers in their time of need and removing the fear of uncertainty when they're the target of a claim or lawsuit.

Just over 80% of our auto claims result in minor injuries to third-party claimants and of these, 93% of the claimants eventually accept they don't have a serious injury and drop their claim.

Consumer education

Aviva continues to dedicate resources to raise public awareness and educate consumers on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud.

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Fighting for reform

We’re active in our efforts to reform the auto insurance industry, working with governments, regulators and other insurers to fix the system and keep cost down.

The role of government

Government has a role to play in establishing a fraud-free auto insurance marketplace

number 1

Assign responsibility for fighting fraud.

Regulators should have a clear mandate to regulate the insurance industry to deter and prevent fraud. They should also have adequate enforcement powers to take swift and firm action if, and when, fraud occurs.

number 2

Accurately track and report on fraud and our progress in fighting it.

The industry must safely share relevant fraud data between insurers and government entities in order to truly understand the scale and scope of fraud in the system; while working together to effectively offer and implement solutions.

number 3

Reverse the trend of light consequences.

Invest in more government resources, such as the creation of a dedicated investigation and prosecution function to help with the deterrence of fraudsters.

number 4

Eliminate the root causes of fraud.

We need to eliminate the root causes of fraud. It's the most effective way to fight fraud and protect consumers. How? The Marshall Report is a recent review of auto insurance in Ontario and includes recommendations for reform.

Read the Marshall Report

number 5

Regulate tow truck operators and auto body shops.

A centralized forum for consumers to file complaints if they have been overcharged or subject to other problems with services is needed. Provincial regulation would ensure much needed consistency and clarity for consumers.

Read CAA's release

On auto repair fraud, Aviva is calling for a 5-point action plan from government:

number 1

Ban referral fees to take unnecessary cash out of the system (these fees benefit third party suppliers but not consumers).

number 2

Prohibit blank work orders to ban any supplier from asking consumers to sign them.

number 3

Allow discounts to customers who agree to use the insurers’ accredited repair network.

number 4

Force insurers to report all fraud and investigation outcomes so that data is shared.

number 5

Increase penalties and enhance investigation powers.

Report any suspicious activity

If you are an Aviva Canada customer, and you believe that you may have been the victim of insurance fraud, contact our 24/7 Fraud Information Centre.

1 855 332 5255

fraud.canada@aviva.com