March 1, 2022
Terri O'Brien

The Importance of Driving Fraud Out of the Insurance Industry

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Insurance fraud is a serious crime that impacts many people and its consequences are real. March being Fraud Month, it is a good time to discuss why we should all care. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime – it is time we eradicate it from the Canadian economy and the insurance industry, and tip the scales back to supporting Canadians.

Insurance fraud schemes range from financial damage to wasting resources – the costs of insurance fraud are born by consumers both in higher premiums and in consuming tax dollars, as emergency response teams respond to these crimes such as staged accidents. The insurance industry acknowledges that this is a continuously evolving threat that needs a sophisticated and dedicated team to address the problem. Équité Association has been created to be the united front against insurance crime and fraud in Canada, merging advanced analytics and expert investigations.

We’re here to contribute to a more equitable world by defending against insurance crime and its impact on Canadians. With 50% of Canadians still living paycheque-to-paycheque, we need to prevent situations where money is redirected from families, into the pockets of criminals as a result of insurance crime. These actions are just fueling the deeper income inequality across Canada. When a car is stolen, a family is impacted through deductibles, rental cars, having to figure out how to get children to school and parents to work, and our most vulnerable communities are being targeted.

When people think of fraudsters, many believe they come from a low-income background. Yet, those with deep pockets often have more financial motivation, are better organized, and have the opportunity to engage in fraudulent activities. Professional criminals are the bigger threat to Canadians and our insurance industry; they often have more resources and access to newer technology.

As insurance fraud becomes more organized, larger groups of criminals are coordinating their efforts into dangerous plots, such as staged auto collisions, involving auto repair shops, tow truck drivers, and medical practitioners, all looking to score an insurance payout. As long as criminals believe that this type of insurance fraud is lucrative and low risk, unwitting drivers are at risk for serious injury as these staged accidents can have real consequences. While it can be difficult to place an exact dollar amount on how much fraud costs the industry (and, in many cases, it goes undetected), according to the insurance company Aviva, insurance fraud adds approximately $2 billion a year to Canadians’ premiums. In the US, The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF) estimates that fraud represents approximately 10% of Property & Casualty insurance losses. At Équité, we have a mission to provide best-in-class prevention and defense against insurance crimes through the use of advanced analytics, intelligence best practices, and coordinated investigations.

Driving out fraud helps all Canadians. Our team at Équité continues to collaborate with our partners and our members, to protect Canadians from insurance fraud and crime that impacts us all. In doing so, we will help level the playing field and tip the scales back to contribute to a more equitable Canada.