Buying insurance through a "friend"? Make sure they're licensed

 Aviva Canada warns about unlicensed sellers of insurance who leave Canadians  with no coverage, and less cash  TORONTO, June 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Aviva Canada, one of the country's leading  providers of home, auto, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance,  is warning Canadians about the risks of insurance deals that seem too good to  be true.  Aviva Canada is releasing details of a recent insurance scam where an  unlicensed seller of insurance took cash from an innocent victim to set up an  auto insurance policy. The perpetrator did not secure coverage and kept the  money, leaving the victim out thousands of dollars and driving without  coverage.  "It is important to use a licensed broker when purchasing insurance. Even if a  friend refers you to someone who says they sell insurance, make sure that they  are legitimate," said Steve Cohen, Senior Vice-President, Personal Lines  Pricing & Underwriting for Aviva Canada. "Too often, consumers are taken  advantage of by opportunistic individuals who claim that they're providing  insurance, when in fact, they are pocketing the money for themselves."  On April 10, 2014, Renato (Nico) Nolivos of Mississauga, Ontario was charged  with:        --  3 counts of Fraud Under $5,000     --  Uttering a Forged Document     --  Making a False Document  Mr. Nolivos' is scheduled to appear in a Newmarket, Ontario court on June 12,  2014.  A client of Mr. Nolivos notified Aviva Canada and York Regional Police that  she had been the victim of fraud. In January 2013, a friend referred her to  Mr. Nolivos to get cheaper insurance.  It is alleged that Mr. Nolivos attended  her home, provided her with a temporary insurance card, and collected $3,125  worth of premium in cash. The woman became wary when she never received a  permanent insurance card.  After following up with Mr. Nolivos' network and paying an additional $1,660  in cash, an Aviva policy was purchased on the victim's behalf through a  licensed insurance broker. By June, Aviva Canada had only received two months  of premium, so the insured was sent a notice that her policy was going to be  cancelled for non-payment. The $4,785 in cash the victim provided to Mr.  Nolivos is unaccounted for.  York Regional Police and Aviva Canada worked together to investigate this  alleged fraud. On April 10, 2014, Mr. Nolivos was arrested and charged on  several counts relating to his involvement in the fraudulent sale of  insurance. His next court date is set for July 10, 2014.  Aviva Canada has now  secured proper auto insurance for the victim.  "This is just one example of an increasing number of scams involving the sale  of insurance. Criminals are also preying on innocent victims through  classified websites like Craigslist and Kijiji, or are exploiting referrals  through auto repair shops and car dealerships," continued Cohen. "Innocent  victims are losing thousands of dollars without obtaining any real coverage.  This puts the consumer at a huge financial risk in the unfortunate event that  they are involved in a collision."  Risks of not having proper insurance  Anyone found driving with a false  insurance card, or no insurance, could be charged with a criminal offence. If  the driver becomes involved in a collision, they will not be covered for any  damage to their vehicle. They can also be sued for damage to other vehicles  involved in, or for bodily injuries resulting from, an accident, and will be  held personally liable.  Don't become a victim! Protect yourself against insurance scams Before handing  over any money, make sure that you are dealing with someone who is reputable.  Here are some signs that you may be dealing with an unlicensed seller of  insurance:     --  If a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Call the         insurer listed on the policy to ensure that the premium you         have been quoted is correct and that they have a record of your         application.     --  They ask you to pay your premium in cash. A reputable insurer         or broker will likely ask for a cheque or credit card to cover         your premium.     --  You do not receive a valid insurance card or a copy of your         policy from your insurance provider. Insurers will always         provide you with documentation once a policy is properly set         up.     --  Meetings only take place in public venues like coffee shops or         your home. Insurance brokers and insurers will have branded         websites and/or an office.     --  A friend refers you to someone who can get you cheap insurance.         In turn, your friend gets a fee for referring you. A licensed         insurance professional will not ask for, or take, any referral         fees.     --  A car dealership offers to arrange for you to get cheap         insurance. This is a banned business practice.  If you are an Aviva Canada customer, and you believe that you may have been  the victim of insurance fraud, contact our 24/7 Fraud Information Centre.   Phone: 1-855-332-5255 Email: anti-fraud_management@avivacanada.com   What Aviva Canada is doing to fight fraud Building on already strong  capabilities, Aviva Canada has stepped up its tough approach to tackling fraud  with more dedicated resources and an investment in technology that aims to  identify fraud and even anticipate the potential for fraud before it happens.  With an industry-leading anti-fraud team, plus solid public sector and  industry collaboration, Aviva Canada is well positioned to combat fraud better  than ever before.  The impact of Insurance fraud in Canada is estimated at  over $1.6 billion dollars annually. Visit www.avivacanada.com to learn more  about our anti-fraud initiatives and how you can protect yourself from  becoming a victim of fraud.  About Aviva Canada Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty  insurance groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle,  group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A  wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000  employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada  and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva  Community Fund and Eva's Initiatives, its partner in Aviva's global Street to  School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.  For more information visit AvivaCanada.com, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook  and LinkedIn pages.    SOURCE  Aviva Canada Inc.  Glenn Cooper, Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social Media, Aviva Canada  Inc., Desk: (416) 288-2685, Mobile: (416) 523-3225,  glenn_cooper@avivacanada.com  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2014/17/c2435.html  CO: Aviva Canada Inc. ST: Ontario NI: INS  
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