Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buyer Beware - Fake Insurance on the Rise

(Dufferin County, ON)- The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has seen an increase in fraudulent insurance documents produced during routine traffic stops. The OPP are reminding citizens to exercise caution when purchasing auto insurance and to ensure that you are purchasing insurance from a reputable broker and insurance company. Unsuspecting consumers are being targeted by fake insurance companies selling auto insurance in Ontario.

Insurance crime is not victimless. According to the recent study conducted by KPMG and forwarded to the Ontario Government, auto insurance fraud is conservatively estimated to cost Ontario drivers between $770 million to $1.6 billion per year.

Richard Dubin, Vice-President with Investigative Services for Insurance Bureau of Canada states: “Do not buy insurance from any person at a coffee shop or on-line unless they prove to be a reputable broker. Check the person through RIBO (Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario)”. “If it sounds too good to be true, stay clear”.

If you suspect you may have been offered or purchased a fraudulent auto insurance policy, take action immediately to confirm whether or not you have coverage. Contact the insurance company that is set out in the policy. Do not contact the broker or agent named in that policy. A conviction of producing fraudulent insurance can cost you on a first conviction a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000. A subsequent conviction to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 and, in addition, his or her driver’s licence may be suspended for a period of not more than one year.

You may also contact Insurance Bureau of Canada’s TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre (Phonebusters) at 1-888-495-8501. In Ontario, you may contact the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario at 416-365-1900 or 1-800-265-3097. If you have information on persons selling fake insurance cards or suspect that a driver is operating a motor vehicle with a fake insurance   card, please contact the Dufferin OPP at (519)-925-3838..