According to the industry, it is the scammers and thieves that are to blame for consumers having to pay too much.
Drivers in Ontario, Canada have been complaining about the high cost of auto insurance, and the industry in that province has now responded by confirming that these consumers are right, consumers are paying too much.
However, the reason for these skyrocketing prices is that fraudsters are keeping costs high for the insurers.
Massive investigations into the auto insurance rates in Ontario have been underway since the NDP (New Democratic Party, the official opposition in the province), announced that they were pressuring the minority Liberal government to force a rate reduction of 15 percent over the next two years.
Among the discoveries brought about by these investigations was that auto insurance fraud is keeping the rates high.
The Finance Minister of the province, Charles Sousa, made an announcement back in April that demanded that action be taken, and that declared that “we’re going to be fighting for those consumers right across our province.” However, some in the auto insurance industry are telling the government to slow down a little, because they aren’t certain that they are capable of delivering that level of rate reduction.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)’s Ralph Palumbo, said that “I couldn’t tell you but I don’t think we’re anywhere near, I don’t think we’re anywhere near 15%.” The reason is that auto insurance fraud remains very high, and this is why the rates look as they do.
According to private investigator, Justus Jurica, whose primary business is in catching auto insurance fraudsters, “Insurance adjusters that work for the insurance companies will call me because they have reason to believe that someone is scamming the system.” He is hired to discover whether suspicious claims are as legitimate as they pretend to be.
Recently, Jurica was hired to follow an auto insurance claimant who stated that he had been involved in a catastrophic vehicle accident that was not stopping him from being able to work or to do anything around the house. Jurica used a high powered camera from a considerable distance away and recorded the claimant working in the yard, twisting and yanking at a tree to remove it from his landscaping.
As this type of auto insurance fraud is far from rare in the province, the expensive claims and costly claims investigations are keeping the rates high. It is unknown whether the industry will be able to manage a reduction as high as 15 percent.