Insurance company discovers 'pervasive fraud' among auto body shops
An investigation by a Canadian insurer has uncovered what it calls pervasive fraud among auto body shops.
Aviva Canada says body shop workers deliberately damaged vehicles, installed used parts but billed for new ones, or invoiced for phantom repairs.
For its investigation, Aviva simulated typical fender-bender situations by deliberately crashing 10 passenger cars.
Experts detailed the damage and estimated repair costs, then kitted out the cars with hidden cameras and put them on Toronto-area highways to see what happened.
Aviva says some fraud occurred in nine of the 10 cases, and more than half the total costs billed for repairs turned out to be bogus.
The company says governments must step in by, for example, forcing insurance companies to share information on fraud they uncover.