How Insurance Brokers and Agents Can Help Prevent Clients from Becoming a Victim of Auto Insurance Fraud

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Insurance brokers and agents are the trusted and expert face of auto insurance. From breaking down the fine print in documents to providing helpful advice, they are on the frontline when it comes to providing clients with must-have information. This article is a resource for brokers and agents to share with their clients and communities to prevent drivers from becoming a victim of auto insurance fraud.

Drivers who want to file an insurance claim for financial gain (which can put innocent drivers and their passengers at risk) often cause staged collisions. Sometimes known as a “crash for cash” scam, there are additional costs to taxpayers that can be difficult to detect, and therefore are often difficult to prevent. However there are actions drivers can take to mitigate their risk.

Knowledge is power

  • Become familiar with the different types of staged collisions, including Swoop & Squat, Drive Down, Bullet Left Turn and Fraud Party. Find out more about each of these scams here, “Crash for cash: types of staged collisions.”
  • Stay alert and be vigilant about any suspicious driving activity.

Install a dashcam

  • Being proactive and installing a dashboard camera (“dashcam”) before a collision can help support a claim of suspected fraud or staged collision.

Report the collision

  • Follow the proper procedure following a collision.
  • Inform your insurance broker/agent. A broker/agent can bring years of expert experience and advice to the claims process. They will also be able to answer questions and provide insight. Let them know why you may be a victim of insurance fraud

             - Was the other driver behaving strangely?

             - Does the injury claim seem exaggerated?

             - Were you prevented from changing lanes?

Don’t pay with cash

  • Contact your insurance company if you suspect fraud. The goal of ‘Crash for cash’ scams is to make money, which may lead the driver of the suspected scam vehicle to ask for cash up front and not submit a claim through insurance providers.

Insurance crime is not a victimless crime, and Équité members believe it is time we eradicate these crimes from Canada. In 2023, Équité partnered with Crime Stoppers to make it easier for Canadians to report insurance crimes anonymously. The Crime Stoppers tip line (1-800-222-TIPS) is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. For those who prefer to submit tips online, click here. Both options are anonymous and confidential for tipsters.