Manitoba Public Insurance’s tips line is seeing a spike in calls from concerned Manitobans over alleged insurance fraud.
MPI says 457 calls have been made to the line this year as of the end of September. That’s up 38 percent from the previous high of 330 calls in 2016.
“The vast majority of honest Manitobans are sending the strong message that defrauding MPI is not acceptable,” said Curtis Wennberg, vice-president, customer service and COO, MPI.
Calls to the tips line usually begin the start of an investigation by MPI’s dedicated anti-fraud unit.
“MPI’s SIU has implemented a number of cutting edge, investigative tools in efforts to expose fraudsters and we are improving our recovery rates as well as prosecutions.”
MPI says fraud costs the average ratepayer $50 annually. People found to be defrauding the public insurer can be charged criminally, within the MPIC Act, or Highway Traffic Act. To date, 22 individuals have been charged for allegedly defrauding MPI. Penalties for defrauding MPI can range from termination of benefits to court-ordered restitution and fines.
Anyone with information about auto insurance fraud is encouraged to call the MPI’s tips line anonymously at (204) 985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477.
MPI spokesperson Brian Smiley says the Crown corporation doesn’t have plans to begin accepting fraud tips online, but did note MPI and IBAM (Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba) are going to conciliation soon about the online insurance model.