Industry urges Ontario to adopt Anti-Fraud Task Force recommendations

Insurance fraud costs Ontarians $1.6 billion annually

Industry leaders are urging the Ontario government to adopt the recommendations from the Anti-Fraud Task Force final report.

The report contains 38 recommendations to reduce auto insurance fraud in Ontario including:

– Licensing health clinics that treat auto insurance claimants;

– Licensing the towing industry under the regulatory oversight of an administrative Authority;

– educating consumers about fraud at key “learning moments”;

– enhanced authority and resources for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) dedicated to investigating and combating fraud and abuse.

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“We applaud the Steering Committee for its hard work on this report,” said Ralph Palumbo, vice-president, Ontario with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), in a press release. “This marks a significant step in the fight against fraud, raising awareness and sharing best practices for fraud prevention.”

“If implemented, it will represent a giant step forward to combat fraud and abuse that will ultimately lead to lower premiums for Ontario drivers,” stated IBAO CEO Randy Carroll, in a press release.

The IBC stated that it expects the recommendations will be implemented in the coming months.

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One of the key drivers of increasing premiums has been the growth in accident benefits. Fraud and abuse of the system has been a major contributor to this growth.

The report stated that everyone has a role to play in combating auto insurance fraud, including the government, consumers, insurance companies, lawyers, paralegals, health care practitioners, tow truck operators, collision repair facilities and all others in the insurance system.

It concluded that the most effective way to combat fraud is to cut off the flow of funds to fraudsters. Insurance fraud is a major issue in Ontario as confirmed in a recent study conducted by KPMG that estimated insurance fraud in Ontario could be as high as $1.6 billion annually.  The cost of fraud in the GTA is up to $540 per insured vehicle.

“We need to do what we can as soon as we can to remove that cost,” said Carroll. “Combating fraud and lowering auto insurance premiums is a non-partisan issue and we’re urging the government and all parties to adopt the recommendations and implement them as soon as possible.”

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