Top 5 public auto insurer fraud cases in 2021

A bogus kidnapping and a driver who was traveling at nearly three times the speed he reported to investigators were among the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation’s (MPI) top 5 auto fraud cases in 2021.

MPI’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) last year closed nearly 1,000 fraud investigations, saving an estimated $ 14 million on claims, MPI reported in a statement. December 29, 2021 press release. Auto insurance fraud costs MPI taxpayers about $ 50 a year.

Each year, MPI publishes its Top 5 Auto Insurance Fraud Cases based on “the unique circumstances of each fraud, the financial savings for MPI taxpayers, and the investigative techniques used to confirm fraudulent activity,” said said Satvir Jatana, customer director of the auto insurer. in the output. here are the Top 5 for 2021:

Canister removal

After her badly damaged vehicle was recovered by police, a Winnipeg woman told MPI that her vehicle was stolen from her garage. She claimed the thieves messaged her on Facebook, demanding payment for the return of the car. The woman admitted that she did not call the police, but agreed to meet the thieves. The story goes that the thieves then kidnapped her and circled the city for hours, eventually crushing the vehicle.

In her statement, the woman confirmed that she had “all the keys in her possession” during the incident. However, “an examination of the vehicle’s ignition and immobilizer system performed by MPI’s research and training department revealed that the vehicle would not operate without a key inserted in the ignition.”

When presented with the findings of the investigation, the vehicle owner admitted that she lied about the kidnapping. The truth is, she was in the vehicle that was driving with a group of people drinking and running at full speed in the city. They eventually crashed into another vehicle and immediately fled the scene.

The theft claim was rejected, saving MPI approximately $ 68,000.

The Fast & Furious

The 20-year-old driver told an MPI adjuster that he worked a lot of overtime. One night, he was driving home around midnight and fell asleep, pulled off the road, and crashed into half a dozen parked vehicles.

The posted speed limit on the road was 50 km / h, with the young driver saying he was driving 55 km / h at the time of the crash. But the extent of the on-site damage to the vehicle contradicted the man’s story. A download of data from the vehicle’s crash recorder indicated that the vehicle was traveling close to 140 km / h at the time of impact.

The evidence also showed that the brake pedal was not depressed and the seat belts were unbuckled. Surveillance footage was taken at various locations along the route traveled, showing the vehicle was running with another vehicle seconds before the crash.

The investigation confirmed that there was a 1.6 km long straight stretch of road where the race took place, MPI said in the statement. The road makes a left turn that a vehicle could not negotiate, causing it to pull off the road and crash heavily into parked vehicles.

The collision claim was denied and MPI began to recover costs from the responsible driver. The cost savings for MPI are estimated at $ 150,000.

Truckin ‘along

A professional truck driver, the Winnipeg man was injured in a single vehicle accident while carrying a load. Given the extent of his injuries, he was entitled to income replacement benefits and personal care assistance payments.

The man told his MPI case manager that his injuries made it impossible for him to lift his arms above his shoulders, unable to lift heavy objects and physically unable to drive for more than 15 minutes. He was also no longer able to take out the trash and recycling bins, or work at his usual job, the state auto insurer reported.

After receiving reports that the man was working while continuing to receive benefits, MPI opened an investigation. Surveillance “showed conclusively that the man worked, could drive several hours a day and was seen carrying a number of objects, including heavy wooden crates.”

MPI informed the man that his benefits were ending. He was also charged with fraud over $ 5,000 and misrepresentation. The public auto insurer estimated it had saved more than $ 700,000.

Center stage

Two people have filed separate collision claims, with one driver admitting he was responsible for a T-Bone collision at an intersection. However, a surveillance camera pointed in the direction of the intersection “clearly showed that the two vehicles were slowly crossing the intersection several times before the collision,” MPI reported.

Surveillance also showed that both vehicles were deliberately placed in a T-Bone setup, with one car accelerating into the other vehicle, slowly entering the intersection. “When presented with the facts, one owner admitted that he and his friend planned this ‘staged’ collision to depreciate their vehicles. “

The savings to MPI amounted to over $ 15,000.

Canine capers

A Winnipeg woman filed a collision complaint, saying a dog ran across the roadway and swerved it and collided with a post and a large flowerpot in the yard of a private residence.

The woman’s 2020 Ford Explorer and the items in the yard sustained significant damage.

The woman also provided the name of a third-party witness, who told MPI claims adjuster that the vehicle swerved to avoid a dog and the woman was driving. MPI determined that the driver was not at fault, which resulted in no financial compensation for the owners.

But when informed of the decision, the owners of the property provided MPI with video footage of the collision “which clearly showed that there was no dog crossing the road and that the driver of the vehicle was a man, ”the auto insurer said.

Introduced to this new information, the woman admitted to lying to protect her boyfriend who was driving and did not have a valid driver’s license. The witness later admitted that they came across the crash after the fact and did not actually see a dog.

The collision claim has been dismissed and MPI is seeking to recover costs from the unlicensed driver. The savings on claims for MPI amounted to almost $ 30,000.

Featured Image by Grmek

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