ICBC is warning drivers after would-be insurance fraudster was caught on camera in a Lower Mainland parking lot.
The crash occurred last October and was brought to the provincial auto insurer’s attention after a pedestrian claimed his foot had been fractured, spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said.
The incident happened when the driver of a dark grey SUV “accidentally placed their vehicle into reverse instead of park” before parking in a Lower Mainland garage. After getting out of the SUV, the man watched his vehicle start rolling out of the spot.
“They tried to retrieve it but what stopped the vehicle is an oncoming white SUV,” Linsangan said.
The two vehicles collided, and then a man approached on foot.
“Seconds later after the impact he appears to lay himself on ground behind the front right tire,” she said.
“When we got a call from him, he did say he was pinned to the ground for 10-20 seconds and fractured his foot.”
But Linsangan said the man’s story and video footage received from the scene showed a different picture.
The driver of the white SUV managed to get security footage from the parking lot and sent it in to ICBC.
“In the video, we see that the moment of impact occurred before he went down on the ground.”
As a result of the footage, Linsangan said, ICBC crash investigators were able to determine that his claim of a fractured foot resulting from the crash was fraudulent, and denied him a payout.
This kind of “opportunistic” fraud happens too often, Linsangan said.
“People who have been involved in an accident will choose to exaggerate the extent of the damage or their injuries,” she said.
The auto insurer pays out $3 billion a year in injury claims, she noted, and while many of those are legitimate, the fraudulent claims drive up insurance costs for everyone.
An independent report on cost-saving measures for ICBC found that a fraud mitigation program could save $30 to 60 million each year.
If you’re involved in one of the nearly 1,000 crashes that happen in B.C. each day, Linsangan has a few tips for a fair outcome:
- Take photos of the damage and a wide shot to show location
- Record drivers licence information, phone number and name of the other driver
- Ask people nearby if they are willing to serve as witnesses
- Take detailed notes about the crash so you remember them in case the claim takes a long time to resolve
- Call ICBC as soon as you can. Don’t rely on the other person to tell your story accurately.
If you witness a crash, but cannot get involved, ICBC has an anonymous tip line at 1-800-661-6844.