March 20, 2018 07:00
Freddy Marcantonio | Photo : Réjean Meloche
More and more auto thefts are related to cases of fraud. Worrying fact : the owners of the stolen vehicles are increasingly involved in this illicit trade.
The phenomenon remains difficult to quantify. Réal Berger, director of the division of investigative services, insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates that in 25 to 30% of cases of theft auto, the owners are directly involved.
A rate that corroborates Freddy Marcantonio, vice-president, business development and distribution, the company’s tracking Tag, that it pushes up to 35 %. «A few years ago, the BAC has notified the insurers that the fraud was on the rise. Now it is an epidemic «, asserts there. Insurers compile these data, but do not necessarily share.
Mr. Berger believes that the insurers are doing enough to counter the scourge. «The companies are taking more measures against fraud. If they are notified, they shall immediately inform the consumer. «
Mr. Marcantonio said that if the fraud is so popular, this is because consumers are tempted by the lure of gain. «The criminal networks are targeting some vehicle models are most in demand. They approach the owners and offers a good amount of money, in addition to the new value that they can receive. In Quebec, we are huge consumers of products of new value, since 60 % of the vehicles are rented, which may incite people to commit a crime. «
Burn his vehicle
Mr. Marcantonio said to have noticed a new trend in fraud cases : the vehicles are burned. «Customers know that they can’t foil Tag, so they try to burn their vehicle,» he explains.
He adds that it is difficult, however, to conceal the fraud because of the data that are accumulated from the time where the sensors are installed in the car. «When a customer calls us to report the theft of his vehicle, we ask him where he saw for the last time. In checking our database, we can confirm or refute what he says. It happens that we have suspicions. In all cases, we submit the information to the department of special investigations unit of the insurer concerned and we let them do their investigation, » says Marcantonio.
If most of the complaints received are honest, the signals are detected quickly by the insurers when it comes to cases of fraud, says Valérie Lamarre, spokesperson for the Desjardins group. «In a case of fraud indicators are usually detected in the first hours following the opening of the folder. Subsequently, we need to proceed with an investigation, the duration of which may vary according to the circumstances. When we are able, with the survey items, confirm that it is indeed a fraudulent claim, it may have been a few weeks since the opening of the folder. «She adds that the number of cases of insurance fraud have remained relatively stable over the years at Desjardins.
Insurers : the first link in the chain of detection
Mr. Marcantonio said that the first link in the chain of detection of fraud automobile remains the insurers, especially the departments for compensation. Since they are the first to possess the elements of declarative likely to be analyzed, insurers must analyze and confront with each other in order to detect any anomaly.
«As a company, we want to help insurers detect fraud, and that is why we have staff dedicated to the detection of these cases in our department of support insurance. We work very closely with the investigative departments of insurers to help, » says Marcantonio.
The department aims to protect insurers against the crime of fraud vis-à-vis theft auto. This will assure that insurers pay only the claims of legitimate and honest by providing access to the database of Tag, said Mr. Marcantonio.