When somebody commits insurance fraud, they cheat the system that we all pay into.
What is insurance fraud?
Insurance fraud involves providing false or misleading information in order to obtain an insurance benefit the person isn’t entitled to. Some examples of fraud that concern ICBC include:
- Claim fraud – providing false information on an injury or vehicle damage claim to obtain a benefit you are not entitled to
- Premium fraud - declaring false information in order to get a lower insurance premium
- Driver’s licence fraud - getting a driver’s licence by providing false information, or using a counterfeit driver’s licence
Fraudulent actions like these are not only dishonest, but they create real costs for B.C. drivers.
Exaggerating a claim is fraud
Exaggerating an injury may not be as dramatic as staging a crash, but it's a major issue and costs all B.C. drivers. Opportunistic fraud, like exaggerating a claim, can take several forms including:
- embellishing the extent of an injury
- misrepresenting a previous medical condition
- claiming additional vehicle damage from an unrelated incident
Most claims are honest, but North American auto insurance industry studies* estimate that 10 to 20 per cent of claims contain an element of fraud or exaggeration. This means that fraud is costing over $100 on every auto insurance policy in British Columbia.
What ICBC is doing about fraud
We’ve stepped up fraud detection and enforcement activities. ICBC’s Special Investigation Unit opened over 19,500 claims or driver’s licence investigations in fiscal year 2018/19 alone. Our cyber unit uses information available on the internet and social media to help examine suspicious claims.
Most recently, we've launched our fraud analytics tool which uses the latest technology to help detect patterns and predictors of fraud at the beginning of the claims process.
The work of our Special Investigation Unit has led to hundreds of charges and convictions over the last decade – approximately 600 convictions from 2010 to 2018 – with consequences including jail time, substantial fines, having a claim denied or reduced, and paying for the other party’s repair costs.
You can help combat insurance fraud
Do you have information on a potential fraud? Let us know. Contact us anytime on our confidential tips line. All callers remain anonymous.
B.C., Canada and the U.S.
* Industry studies include: Insurance Bureau of Canada, InsuranceHotline, Cornerstone Insurance Brokers and Insurance Research Council