Fake weather reports, rolled back odometers, and fabricated wildlife sightings mark just a few of the problems with SGI’s top five insurance fraud cases from 2022.
Last year, SGI found hundreds of attempted insurance claims were fraudulent. Those claims were worth a combined $5.8 million.
“When making insurance claims, the important thing to do is always be honest about the incident,” reads an SGI press release.
“Insurance is there when you need it, but some people create deceptive stories to collect it even when they don’t.”
Top five insurance fraud cases: heist hoax
SGI reports that a customer reported his vehicle missing. He claimed the vehicle had been parked in front of his house with a spare key locked inside.
Police found the vehicle a short walk from the residence one hour later. It was sitting on the front lawn of a nearby house after colliding with a vehicle and a tree.
The customer filed an insurance claim, but investigators found security footage showing the vehicle hitting the parked vehicle at a high rate of speed after the driver lost control. The footage also showed a person fitting the customer’s description walking away from the vehicle and locking it with a fob.
The customer later confessed to causing the celebration, and admitted he should not have been driving. The collisions ended up costing him $50,000 in vehicle and property damage.
A resident submitted a $7,000 claim after reporting she drove her truck through a “dip with standing water” which caused the engine to quit. During their investigation, SGI found the vehicle’s odometer had been rolled back by 150,000 km to inflate the vehicle’s value.
The resident withdrew the claim after being confronted with the findings.
A customer told SGI he was driving around 55 km/hr through foggy conditions in the early morning hours when he missed a turnoff and hit an abandoned vehicle on the shoulder of the highway. The customer said he panicked and walked to a nearby house for help rather than calling the police. The residents of the house reported that the man and his girlfriend did not want police to know about the collision.
Officers visited the collision site and found drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle. They also found no evidence of fog that morning, and no nearby turnoff the driver could have missed.
SGI investigators found the vehicle was travelling at double the reported speed, and some witnesses came forward reporting the driver and his girlfriend were both very intoxicated at the time. Their claim for $40,000 was denied.
A driver filed a claim saying she hit a deer and left her vehicle at the roadside. When she returned, her vehicle had been completely burned. Investigators contacted witnesses who saw two people remove belongings from the vehicle before it caught fire a short time later.
SGI discovered the vehicle was not registered at the time of the collision. Instead, the driver purchased registration less than an hour after the crash. SGI denied her claim, saving $5,000.
Another customer told SGI she fell asleep while driving and collided with a parked vehicle. She admitted to having significant financial hardships and had recently spoken with a bailiff about repossession of her high valued SUV the day before.
SGI investigators conducted several interviews to confirm the driver was in financial trouble. Their investigation found she had lied to her bank about being able to make her delinquent payments in order to “buy herself some time.” Further evidence from the crash site showed the vehicle was fully idle five seconds before the collision, but was propelled forward when someone quickly stepped on the gas pedal.
Investigators believed the driver caused the collision intentionally to avoid having the vehicle repossessed. The claim was worth roughly $63,000.