Canadian Underwriter

Top 5 wild and wacky insurance fraud claims

March 22, 2022   by Jason Contant

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Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) saved approximately $6 million in 2021 from “hundreds of people” attempting to make fraudulent claims, the public insurer reported last week.

“SGI’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigates wild and wacky insurance claims, many of which turn out not to be true,” the government insurer said in a press release.

SGI’s Top 5 examples of insurance fraud over the past year include the following cases (ordered from most fraudulent to least). All names have been changed.

Doesn’t add up

A person filed a claim saying her rental property had been robbed, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of property was stolen.

“There were a few red flags right off the bat,” SGI said. “Julie had only bought insurance two weeks prior to the alleged theft. She also didn’t have any receipts or documents to prove she ever owned the stolen items.”

A financial assessment proved Julie didn’t have the income to support the large purchases. SIU also visited the rental property and determined it wasn’t big enough to house everything that was reported stolen.

The claim was ultimately denied, with savings to SGI estimated at about $70,000.

Into the drink

Barb told investigators her daughter Amanda borrowed her vehicle. Barb claimed it was raining at the time of an alleged crash, in which Amanda slid into a ditch and nearby dugout to avoid hitting a deer on the gravel road.

“The story seemed plausible at first,” SGI conceded. “But an SIU investigator went to see the scene for themself. As it turns out, the gravel road wasn’t gravel, and the dugout was actually a town reservoir hundreds of feet from the paved roadway. The vehicle would have had to have been driven through a town park before entering the reservoir.

The investigation also revealed Amanda had been drinking at the time of the crash. The claim was denied, saving SGI $65,000.

Car of his dreams

James claimed his classic car was stolen, but wasn’t able to produce any receipts or financial information related to the vehicle. He also couldn’t supply any photos of the vehicle from the past 15 years.

“The only photo James did share with SGI turned out to be a stock image from a vehicle in the U.S.,” SGI said in the release. “Not to mention, neighbours and the autobody shop staff who had supposedly worked on the car had no recollection of the vehicle (and it’s not the kind of car you forget!).

That busted claim saved SGI more than $20,000.

Technology to the rescue

Sheila claimed her brand new 2021 Camaro was stolen. Police worked with OnStar to locate the vehicle, which was found with a banged-up front end.

“Sheila filed a claim with SGI, but her story got a bit murky when she admitted she still had both key fobs, since the vehicle couldn’t be started without them, SGI reported. “Once Sheila was told SGI would collect technical information from OnStar, she decided to withdraw her claim.”

Total savings to SGI was $13,000.

Running into an old friend

A claimant (let’s call him Jacob) said his vehicle was broadsided after Deb drove through a stop sign.

Police initially charged Deb, but further investigation revealed the crash may have been staged. SIU obtained video of the crash which showed Jacob slowed to a stop, giving Deb enough time to speed up and crash into the side of his vehicle. The video evidence, along with downloaded vehicle data, showed the crash was indeed set up.

The investigation also found Deb and Jacob knew each other, contrary to what they claimed.

The denied claim saved SGI $7,000.


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