March 30, 2023
Terri O'Brien

Collaboration is Our Greatest Asset in Fraud Prevention

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At Équité Association we play a critical role in safeguarding Canadians. By bringing together industry expertise to prevent and detect insurance crime, we are evolving how the Canadian property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry is disrupting organized crime. Together, we are creating safer and more equitable communities for all Canadians.  

March is Fraud Prevention Month and when talking about fraud prevention there is a lot of focus on technology capabilities like data mining, analytics and artificial intelligence, but at the heart of it all, what we really focus on is collaboration – something we do so well with our members and partners.

Why fraud networks continue to thrive

Insurance crime always has a victim, whether it is in our neighborhoods, homes, or the fear and loss it leaves behind for individuals. It can affect any one of us, and often targets the most marginalized in our society.

The estimated cost to Canadians is upwards of $3 - 5 billion annually. Insurance crime is lucrative, often funding organized crime and other criminal activities, such as the distribution and sale of firearms, drugs, and human trafficking.

Fraud networks are sophisticated and well-organized; if one insurer identifies fraudsters, they target another. If a local law enforcement agency targets one crime syndicate, they cross borders and find a new jurisdiction to exploit. We are working with our members to disrupt insurance crimes and redirect resources to the communities that need them the most.  

ÉQ Insights is a collaborative step forward

Together, as a part of a consortium with Canadian insurers, Équité Association is launching ÉQ Insights, Canada’s first national insurance crime detection platform for the P&C insurance industry. ÉQ Insights will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to both detect and ultimately prevent insurance crime by using real-time fraud data and analytics.

This year, insurance crime has reached unprecedented levels. In 2022, we saw a concerning rise in auto thefts – approximately 45% and 50% increases in Ontario and Quebec, respectively, over the previous year – which is why it is more important than ever to recognize how industry collaboration is our best way forward.  

The good news is that through ongoing collaboration, the insurance industry is fighting back with its own innovations, opening the door to faster identification of complex organized crime rings. ÉQ Insights will enhance the ‘big picture’, providing our members with more information and the ability to identify trends and patterns, ultimately exposing bad actors. Investments in this type of cutting-edge technology and data-driven insights are giving Équité and our members the tools we need to continue, and ultimately win, the fight against insurance crime.