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Busted! SGI's top-five insurance fraud cases

SGI's Special Investigation Unit investigates wild and wacky insurance claims, many of which turn out not to be true.
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Running into an old friend is one of the ways fraudsters attempt to claim insurance money they are not entitled to.

Insurance is there when you need it, but some people try to get it even when they don't.

Unfortunately some people try to defraud insurance providers. That's where SGI's Special Investigation Unit (SIU) comes in. In 2021, SIU busted hundreds of people attempting to make fraudulent claims, saving the company around $6 million. This important work helps keep insurance rates low for honest customers.

With that said, we've rounded up some of the top insurance frauds from 2021.

Running into an old friend

A claimant (let's call him Jacob*) said his vehicle was broadsided after Deb* drove her vehicle through a stop sign. Deb and Jacob both claimed they didn't know each other. Police initially charged Deb, but further investigation by police 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 revealed Deb and Jacob knew each other.

The claim was denied, saving SGI $7,000.

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. Once Sheila was told SGI would collect technical information from OnStar, she decided to withdraw her claim.

Total savings? $13,000.

Into the drink

Barb* said her daughter Amanda* borrowed her vehicle when Amanda got into a collision. Barb claimed it was raining at the time of the crash, and when Amanda swerved to avoid hitting a deer on a gravel road, she slid into the ditch and into a nearby dugout. The story seemed plausible at first. 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

For many people, it's a dream to own a vintage muscle car, and for this would-be fraudster, it will stay that way. 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 United States. 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.

Doesn’t add up

Julie* 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. Julie had bought insurance only 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 was done, proving 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 evidence stacked up quickly against Julie's claim, which ultimately was denied.

Busted.

This investigation saved SGI $70,000.
When making insurance claims, the important thing to do is always tell the truth.

Anyone with information about potential insurance fraud is encouraged to contact SGI's Special Investigation Unit at siu@sgi.sk.ca or 1-800-667-8015, ext. 6887. To report anonymously, call Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

*All names in these scenarios have been changed.

 

 

 

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