The insurance agent is in the position of providing coverage, as best meets the needs of the insured… can you imagine how they would feel, knowing they had inadvertently participated in insurance fraud claims?
This past week I have found myself rather fascinated with providing Social Media posts about famous insurance fraud claims – and the statistics that accompany what I have found!
Insurance Fraud Statistics
For example, from businessinsider.com I found the following:
Insurance fraud drains more than $50 billion from insurers each year and costs the average U.S. family between $400 and $700 in the form of increased premiums, according to the FBI.
Interestingly enough, as I read through these famous case I found the perpetrators were not what you would call masterful criminals. Some of the stories I found were of amazingly brilliant escapades; others… well, what is that phrase, “Stupid is as stupid does!” The alleged frauds came in all venues; those putting in the effort – well, they ran the gamut: from grannies to cops and from the boy next door to desperate business owners.
Like a Horror Movie…
I found it really hard to believe the following story:
It was like reading the script for a horror movie! A certain Gerald Hardin was charged with… chopping off his friend’s hand for a $670,000 dismemberment claim. Using a small pole type chain saw normally used to trim tree branches – off went the arm – in went the claim! Of course, as should go the way of misdeeds, the trio who concocted the scheme faced hefty fines and jail time.
What about the desperate store owner? One NBC story I read about was of two New York City business partners who, in their desperation, planned what they thought was the ultimate resolution to save their jewelry store. Hiring two men, dressed in Hasidic garb, the partners staged the robbery, and to cover up the part they played, they poured drain cleaner into the cameras – hoping to spoil the footage – before filing a $7 million claim with Lloyds of London. Unfortunately, they didn’t count on the acumen of the local police who were able to salvage the security footage and discovered… the partners removing the jewels a full two hours before the staged heist! Their goal of $7 million netted them first-degree insurance fraud and other not-so-savoury charges.
Let’s look at just one more before I wrap up this post! See, I told you – it is fascinating to what measures people will go and the use they make of the gift of creativity they’ve been given. Astounds me!
The Man Who Didn’t Exist…
This was a story covered by KABC-TV about how four women actually “made up” a man, and then set about faking his death, staging a funeral and going to the expense of a tombstone!
A complex and rather a creepy scheme, if you ask me… not only did they falsify all the particulars of the man and his death, they paid actors to attend his funeral, posing as mourners should anyone question… all to claim $1.2 million in life insurance benefits. The complexity came in the form of the mortuary worker’s involvement with the three other women after two separate insurance companies had questions sufficient to launch an investigation. The quick-witted women, not to be outdone, unearthed the casket, filled it with a mannequin and cow parts to ensure the proper weight and sent it to a crematory… filing paperwork stating the man had been cremated and the ashes strewn in the Pacific Ocean.
Of course, I was a bit dismayed to find there was no real “wrap” on this story… about which I would love to know the ending!
Do you have any interesting insurance fraud stories to share?
Independent Insurance Agent
Proudly serving her clients and her industry for 30+ years