One of the reasons for the rising cost of car insurance in Ontario is due to false insurance claims. These claims arise from a variety of car insurance crimes, one being staged car collisions. There are staged car collisions where all occupants of the vehicle(s) are fully aware and have devised the scheme. There are others where the vehicles never did collide with each other but have led to a paper fraud.
Another type of staged car collision is when a driver and/or passenger are innocent and unaware that they will become a victim of a fraudster, known as a caused collision.
Here are three examples of staged car collisions you should be aware of when driving, especially in the bigger city centers.
The Drive Down Collision. As seen in this graphic the victim has been signaled by the fraudster to leave their parking lot. As the victim exits the fraudster then proceeds and collides, making it look like the victim’s fault.
Here is a video showing another variation on this type of staged car collision:
Left Turn Collision: Here the fraudster signals the victim allowing them to make their left turn into traffic and then proceeds in their path to collide with them.
Here is another video demonstrating a variation on this staged collision:
A third scenario is the Swoop and Squat: Here there are two or more fraudsters involved. As you are driving down your lane, one will come beside you then enter your lane in front of you or it’s already in front of you, the other swoops in the lane and suddenly brakes, both braking, causing you to collide, making it look like you’re at-fault.
Take a look at a variation on this:
If you suspect that you have been a victim of a staged collision, here are some things to remember, and they’re good to remember for any accident:
- Take pictures of all angles of the vehicles involved, focusing on the damage. Take a picture of the license plate and if you can manage, all the passengers in the other vehicle
- Record as much as you can about the other driver
- Driver license number
- Vehicle registration information
- Can insurance information (name of insurance company (not the brokerage) and policy number
- Name address and phone number
- Call the police or report the accident to the police, even if it’s a minor accident.
- Speak only to the police and your insurance company or your broker. Exchanging information is all you need to talk to the other party.
- Don’t ever settle on site with cash.
- Record the names, badge numbers and phone numbers of the police officer(s) you spoke to or attended the scene of the accident
- When you are in an accident, the odds of you being in a vulnerable position are greater. Ask yourself this: Why would a tow truck driver be recommending a paralegal or a healthcare provider, or be offering money to go to a particular body shop? Be very suspicious of this. It’s part of the scheme.
- If you suspect the accident is staged, contact the police and your insurance representative.
Take the time to understand why car insurance is costly here in Ontario. You will be surprised by the types of false insurance claims and fraud that contribute to higher insurance premiums. Click here to understand more of the impact on car insurance prices in Ontario and the measures being taken to fight fraud.
You can help if you suspect an auto insurance crime by making an anonymous call 24/7 to 1-877-IBC-TIPS (422-8477) or you can go on line and do so by clicking here .