April 16, 2012
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) would like to warn consumers about auto insurance scams involving fraudulent insurance cards. Insurance cards are the pink documents required by law that contain insurance particulars for vehicles, including policy numbers and policy expiry dates. Fraudulent insurance cards appear valid, but have false policy numbers and/or expiry dates.
- An individual pretending to be a licensed agent or broker offers to arrange auto insurance coverage at a rate much lower than what you’re currently paying or have been quoted. The individual charges you a fee for this service.
- An individual provides you with a quote. When you accept the quote, you are asked to send a partial or full payment for coverage through a transfer or money wiring service. In some cases, the individual you contacted will meet with you to accept a cash payment.
In both scenarios, consumers may receive fraudulent insurance cards. In reality, their auto insurance coverage is non-existent.
Consumers should note that licensed insurance agents and brokers do not charge a fee for arranging personal automobile insurance.
Some consumers discover they do not have valid auto insurance under very serious circumstances, such as when they are stopped by the police and charged for driving without insurance, or when they become involved in an auto accident.
If consumers purchase insurance from agents or insurers that are not licensed in the province, they are not protected under the Insurance Act and the regulations that govern Ontario’s licensed insurance companies and agents.
The Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO)’s website contains a list of all brokers licensed to do business in Ontario.
Members of the public with information on individuals creating fraudulent insurance documents are urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.