Hamilton, Ont. police nab insurance fraudsters

IBC continues to aid in investigation of 50 other fraud cases in the Greater Toronto Area.

After months of working closely with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and its member companies, Hamilton Police executed search warrants against two collision centres (Stoney Creek Collision and Southwestern Collision Centre) in the city for allegedly perpetrating insurance fraud.

So far, three individuals have been arrested. They were released on a Promise to Appear for a court date on September 26th, 2011 with a charge of Fraud Over $5,000.00 and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud. This investigation is ongoing and further arrests are expected.

“Today’s arrests are further evidence that insurance fraud is a real problem in Ontario,” said Ralph Palumbo, vice president, Ontario, IBC. “And when fraudsters cheat the system, honest policyholders end up paying in the form of higher premiums.”

Insurance fraud is big business in Ontario. Today, IBC is investigating approximately 50 multi-case fraud projects in the Greater Toronto Area, many involving staged collisions and associated service provider fraud, stated a media release. But a recent IBC poll indicates that less than half of Ontarians (47%) understand the impact that insurance fraud has on premiums.

“We all have a responsibility to understand how fraud works against the interests of consumers and to root it out so that premiums will stabilize,” added Palumbo. “Today’s arrests are a great example of what can be done when police, insurers and other stakeholders work together to fight crime.”

IBC has advocated for measures to address the underlying factors that contribute to the problem of insurance fraud, including strict regulation to oversee the ownership and operation of medical clinics in Ontario, combined with tougher criminal and civil penalties pertaining to identity fraud and theft. In July, the provincial government announced the composition of its Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force.

To read more on this arrest, click here.

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