Digital insurance company, Sonnet Insurance says home and auto insurance fraud is common in all regions of Canada, especially in the Greater Toronto Area. To help consumers avoid insurance fraud, the company released a statement this week, examining the top “seller scams” in the country, and what consumers need to know to stay safe.
Sonnet says seller fraud takes place when insurance policies are being sold to customers by fraudulent actors. “Unlike claims fraud where fraudsters use fake accidents to cash in on real insurance policies, seller fraud leaves its victims open to a high degree of personal risk. A fraudster will offer discounted insurance and take victims’ money in return for home and auto insurance pink slips that are invalid or forged,” says Sonnet. “Sometimes the slip is simply a forgery. Other times the fraudster will set up an actual policy, download the slip and give it to the victim, then cancel the policy without the victim’s knowledge.” In different scenarios, they say fraudsters will often target high-risk drivers and new Canadians.
If in doubt, Sonnet recommends clients check an insurance broker’s license with regulatory authorities. It warns customers not to pay in cash, ever, and it points out that consumers should not give incorrect information or overlook incorrect information that appears on an insurance slip. It recommends that clients input personal information themselves and encourages them to make sure their policy is connected to their phone number, email and personal address so they will know if the policy is altered or cancelled. It also recommends that clients pay close attention to any mail that comes from insurance companies, in case someone has used the client’s identity to set up a fake policy.
“In Canada, auto insurance is mandatory and highly regulated by the government,” says Sonnet’s senior vice president, Roger Dunbar. “Generally, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”