A new survey conducted by ICBC shows its customers are convinced society simply tolerates insurance fraud. In the survey, 47 percent of customers feel that committing auto insurance fraud is an accepted practice in BC. That same survey also found that 79 percent of respondents felt that up to half of all claims made with ICBC contain an element of fraud.
"Industry estimates suggest about 20 percent of all insurance claims costs contain an element of fraud," ICBC special investigations unit senior manager, Chris Fairbridge said. He also added that the survey results were very troubling. "Fraud by its very nature is difficult to detect but what I can say is we are tackling it and going after fraudsters hard." Fairbridge added that the corporation is launching a public awareness campaign along with the survey results to make it known they're monitoring the issue at hand and has a number of measures in place to combat the situation. "From increasing staffing levels to introducing software that'll sift through data to look through fraud and also we're taking a stronger stance against fraud," Fairbridge said.
"We will be going after fraudsters with everything that we have available to us, which can include recommending criminal charges to crown counsel or going after them civilly through the courts." ICBC said the most common examples of fraud the agency sees are exaggerations of the extent of injuries or damage to a vehicle. Also a common place of fraud includes old damage, false claims that a person is unable to return to work, excluding a previous medical condition and proving a false account of how a crash happened. The poll was conducted through ICBC's Customer Advisory panel between April 12-19 and surveyed 1373 people.