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It is important for residents of Alberta to understand and be aware of insurance fraud, as it costs policy owners millions of dollars each year in higher premiums. Anyone can be a target of insurance crime, whether you are just learning to drive or are highly experienced at driving. Knowing about insurance crime is the first step to preventing it. Reporting insurance crime is the next part of helping to stop abuse of the insurance system.

Below are ways to reduce your risks and avoid insurance fraud in Alberta:

Drive Defensively

It is important to avoid insurance fraud by driving defensively, including leaving plenty of distance in front of you. Looking ahead and always being aware of where any hazards and other vehicles are located around you. Adjust your speed to the weather, road and traffic conditions. Use caution in accepting the right of way. Always be prepared to take evasive action to avoid a last minute accident.

Be Aware of Suspicious Activities After a Minor Collision

If you are involved in a relatively minor automobile collision, it is important to be mindful of common elements that could be part of insurance fraud. Be suspicious if the following behaviours are observed:

  • The driver insists on calling police, even though clearly the total vehicle damage is less than $2,000;
  • The driver and/or passengers insist on calling an emergency workers and complain about neck and back injuries (especially when emergency workers show up);
  • The driver who hit you recommends a tow truck company, vehicle repair shop, medical treatment provider or a legal service provider
  • The other driver’s auto insurance was recently issued;
  • The other driver gives an inaccurate account of what happened to the police;
  • “Witnesses” suddenly appear when the collision occurred in an isolated area; or
  • A tow truck driver arrives at the scene, recommends his or her services, and may suggest a particular repair shop.

Know what to do and how to document when it comes to reporting an accident. If you need to deal with a tow truck driver, know what your rights are to avoid a tow truck scam.

Be aware of what your auto insurance policy entails in Edmonton and stay involved in your claim. Never provide signed blank forms to your medical service provider.

Take Photographs

Taking thorough photographs of the vehicles involved and any damage sustained from the accident is the best way to prove or dispel claims about the incident. This same guideline is relevant for before and after repairs. An innocent person involved in car accident should note any damage that seems unrelated, as well as whether or not the airbags went off, and any potential witnesses.

Be Aware of the Possible Types of Auto Insurance Fraud

A key information source for the public about insurance fraud is the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). Established in 1964, the IBC is the national industry association in Canada that represents private autohome and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90 percent of the Canadian property and casualty insurance market.

One of the ways in which the IBC has raised awareness about insurance crime is in an article, which outlines opportunistic fraud scenarios and pre-meditated insurance fraud.

Reporting Insurance Fraud

If you believe that you are a victim of insurance fraud, you should report the incident immediately. You or another person, as a witness, may:

  • File a police report or a Crime Stoppers report;
  • Complete an anonymous online form with IBC;
  • Make an anonymous phone call 24/7 to the IBC at 1-877-IBC-TIPS (422-8477);
  • Contact an information officer at IBC; and
  • Report the fraud to your insurer or a lawyer.

Other Means to Reduce Insurance Crime

In addition to educating the public about insurance fraud, the IBC aims to deter fraud by thoroughly investigating the involvement of organized crime groups in insurance fraud. IBC works with Edmonton insurance companies, police, the government and the public in a joint effort towards reducing insurance fraud.

CANATICS, a non-profit agency, also helps reduce auto insurance crime by collecting data and investigating insurance claims that are deemed suspicious.

Further, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is a government resource that can help to educate people about various types of fraud types and any preventative measures that can be taken.

Legislative measures from the Alberta government are also in place to try and reduce the volume of personal injury auto insurance fraud cases. The 2016 soft tissue (minor injury) cap for a personal injury claim is $4,956. The cap was $4,000 when it was first introduced in 2004. Before 2004 a less severe injury that last three to six months was worth between $5,000 and $15,000 for the pain and suffering involved. A further review of the minor injury cap is currently underway, but, until it is released, the minor injury cap remains indexed to inflation.

Speak to Our Auto Insurance Brokers in Edmonton for Safe, Reliable Rates

At MBS Insurance Brokers Ltd., we believe that people can work together to stop insurance fraud if they know how to prevent and report it when it is suspected. We want you to have access to affordable insurance without compromising the quality of your coverage. Auto insurance in Edmonton should be accessible for everyone in the same way homeowners insurance can be.

To learn more about insurance fraud and to get a competitive quote from our brokers in Edmonton, contact us today online or at 780-436-7880.

How an Insurance Broker Saves You Time and Money

Do you know the benefits of an insurance broker?

Suppose you’re looking for the best insurance coverage at the best rates in Edmonton. In that case, you’ll first want to understand the benefits of an insurance broker and how they can help protect you in all sorts of different situations – whether it be saving you money, time or giving you simple peace of mind.

What Are the Benefits of an Insurance Broker?

Here are some of the many benefits of an insurance broker.

 

1. Saves Time

An insurance broker does all the work for you, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time shopping around for insurance. Instead, you simply provide your broker with information about your needs, and they shop the markets on your behalf.

 

2. Saves Money

Insurance brokers work with many different partners to find the best deals on the insurance that works for you. They take all your needs into account and make recommendations that are in your best interest. They have relationships with many insurance partners and can negotiate competitive rates and discounts, saving you money in the long run.

3. Expert Knowledge and Advice

An insurance broker provides you with the support and expertise you need to find coverage that suits your needs. They work with various products and services to find the coverage that best suits you. In addition, they can draw from an extensive knowledge base and experience to advise you on the best options. 

Insurance Brokers provide expert and unbiased advice. A wealth of knowledge about coverage and market rates combined with expert risk assessment ensures your possessions and business are adequately protected. Whether you are looking into auto insurance rates, tenant insurance, or home insurance rates, your insurance broker can help you every step of the way.

You can utilize their expertise to quickly identify your options and rely on their unbiased advice to help you make the best-informed decision for your situation.

 

4. Working For Your Best Interests

Since insurance brokers do not work with one particular company, they have nothing to gain from recommending a specific product. The insurance company also pays them a standard commission. Thus, there is no financial incentive to choose one insurer over another.

Insurance brokers have your best interests in mind. You can count on them to find you the best rate possible, which can give you the peace of mind you need. You can rest assured knowing that if you ever need to file a claim, one of our brokers will be there by your side to guide you every step of the way. They act as an advisor on insurance-related matters. They will shop the market for the best coverage and rates for you. Since fulfilling your needs is their only priority, they will provide independent, unbiased advice on the right coverage for your situation.

5. Privileged access and rates

Insurance Brokers have access to a wide selection of the best insurance companies in the country. These insurance companies are only accessible by Insurance Brokers. They do not deal with the public directly or with Direct Writers. Brokers enjoy long-standing relationships with these insurance companies. Still, they do not have an affiliation with any specific insurer, enabling brokers to provide you with a broader range of options at competitive rates.

 

6. Transparency

Insurance brokers must give full disclosure about their compensation and its effect on your insurance premium.  They are also required to declare any financial links with specific companies that may be a conflict of interest, enabling you to make the best-informed decision.

 

7. Risk and Advocacy Experience

Extensive experience dealing with different clients and claim situations equips insurance brokers with a broader perspective on how to reduce your risk. Also, in the event of a claim, you can count on your broker to act as your advocate with the insurance company and handle your claim fairly and promptly.

Speak to MBS Insurance in Edmonton about your Coverage

Reach out to MBS Insurance today to determine your home, auto, and commercial coverage options. Over the past 45 years, our experienced team of insurance brokers in Edmonton has earned the trust and loyalty of our clients by delivering superior products and services. We understand your needs and provide you with the best protection and rates.

There are many benefits of an insurance broker. We can help you understand the intricacies of your insurance plan while saving you money at the same time. We are a trusted insurance provider in Edmonton and provide personal and commercial insurance policies to people living in Alberta. We offer the best rates on recreational, auto, property, commercial, and group insurance policies. 

Contact us online for a free quote or by phone at 780-436-7880.

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This article was originally published on October 7, 2016, and updated for 2021.