By now you will have heard or seen the advertising being done by ICBC in its anti-fraud campaign. ICBC rolled out their campaign with their “Hall of Shame” stating that insurance fraud is costing BC Driver’s Hundreds of Millions a Year. Their advertising campaign has been extensive and has included print, radio and television. The cost of the advertising campaign would be very significant and I am left to wonder what the purpose of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of our premium dollars would be. The statistics released by ICBC include that in 2015 they opened 7500 fraud investigations. They also state that they have a 98% conviction rate on all charges laid, which resulted in approximately 550 fraud convictions over the years 2010 – 2015.
What do these statistics mean? In 6 years there were 550 fraud convictions. Accepting the 98% conviction rate that would mean their investigations resulted in approximately 560 charges laid over the course of 6 years, or 93 per year. Assuming their level of opening fraud investigations has remained stable over the years, this also means that out of 7500 approximately investigations commenced each year, only 93 result in charges being laid and only 91 were found to be actual fraud. This means that only 1% of the fraud investigations conducted by ICBC result in a finding that fraud has occurred.
What does this mean for you as a policy holder and as a potential claimant under your motor vehicle accident policy? The statistics indicate that 99% of the time that ICBC opens a fraud investigation no fraud is found. In reality this means that when you go in to make an ICBC claim, the ICBC adjuster will be very critically evaluating and assessing everything you do or say. They are not there to ensure that your interests are protected. The statistics show you that they are on high alert for any potential fraud. They do not approach your case expecting that everything you say is honest and genuine, in fact the opposite is true. ICBC will put you to the strictest proof of every aspect of your claim, will scrutinize the details of everything you do or say, and will assume the worst at every turn. The adjuster is not there to protect you, they are there to protect their employer. As policy holders we expect that of the adjuster. It is their job to ensure that only what should be paid out on a claim is paid out.
If you are making a claim due to injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident it is in your best interest to obtain legal advice. When you retain a lawyer they handle the communication with ICBC. This can go a long ways towards preventing the scrutiny that ICBC applies to the details of all cases from being misinterpreted or interpreted in a way that is harmful to your case. Our law provides that individuals injured due to the fault of another are entitled to compensation to return them to the position that they would have been in if they had not been injured. Personal injury cases are about determining what that position is and the compensation that is necessary to do so.