ICBC has come out with their top exaggerated and fraudulent claims of 2014. Suffice it to say, it is not wise to try and pull a fast one on ICBC especially when your story has absolutely no credence!
An interesting statistic that ICBC put out was that Crown Counsel laid 131 charges against 100 different people in relation to fraudulent claims made to ICBC. The conviction rate of those 131 charges was 90%.
If ICBC has reason to believe that the claim you are advancing simply isn’t believable, they will take extra measures to investigate and discredit your claim. The classic example is someone who maintains they sustained a back injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident yet posts pictures of themselves on social media being chased by bulls in Pamplona, Spain. If you’re caught trying to defraud ICBC, the implications are very serious. Not only will ICBC attempt to extinguish your claim, they will hold you in breach of your insurance policy and require you to pay for someone’s bodily injuries and all damage done to the vehicles involved in the accident. They will also report it to the RCMP who will investigate and perhaps recommend criminal charges.
Here are a few examples of the unbelievable stories ICBC investigated:
- A customer reported his truck stolen. It was recovered and ICBC inspected it. ICBC found serious mechanical problems contrary to his statement to ICBC. The customer’s cell phone records put him at the scene of the burnt vehicle at the time it burned. He plead guilty to providing a false statement, he was fined $4,000 and ordered to pay ICBC more than $3,000 for their investigative costs.
- A woman was rear ended and claimed injuries to her back. ICBC found her blog with photos of her on a 6 month motorcycle trip in South America on very rough terrain. The matter went to trial and she was awarded $12,000 by the judge which was 2/3 less than what she was claiming.
- A Vancouver police officer caught a gentlemen talking on his cell phone and discovered the man had received a 90 day driving prohibition the day before. He was therefore ticketed for driving while prohibited and driving while using a cell phone and received a further 1 year driving prohibition. The man obtained a false driver’s licence using his friend’s identity and transferred his vehicle into that friend’s name. Suffice it to say he was caught by ICBC and plead guilty to impersonation (a criminal offence) and was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500.
If you’re thinking of pulling a fast one on ICBC, think really hard. ICBC has far more resources than you may think. If you’re claiming a back injury, perhaps avoid posting pictures of your bull riding experience or lengthy motorcycle trips through the Amazon.
Paul Johnson is a lawyer with FH&P Lawyers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 869-6018.