We all wonder why our auto insurance rates are so high. This could be a reason: Aviva Canada says their investigation has uncovered “pervasive fraud” among auto body shops. In their experiments, called ‘Project Bumper’ (video below), vehicles were involved in staged collisions and sent to body shops for repairs, but with hidden cameras and private investigators posing as drivers. The results showed multiple body shops either deliberately damaged vehicles, installed used parts but billed for new ones, and/or invoiced for phantom repairs. Aviva says it found about half the total expenses submitted for repairs to crashed vehicles during its investigation in Ontario were false. The insurance company calculated that the shops, on average, overcharged by 57 per cent. Aviva said if this pattern holds true across the industry, it could mean a potential fraud of $547 million a year in Ontario and $2 billion a year Canada-wide. A 2017 government report found Ontario drivers pay up to 55 per cent more for insurance premiums than other Canadians, despite the province having one of the lowest collision rates. Aviva is calling on the government to force insurance companies to report and share information when fraud is identified.
Photo Credit: Screenshot – CTV W5 via YouTube