Lies about stolen refrigerators, sober driving and walking 12 kilometres in an hour barefoot led to a few of the top five fraudulent insurance claims submitted to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) last year.
SGI investigators looked into 1,234 suspicious claims in 2019, saving customers roughly $10 million. But each year, SGI releases information about the five worst insurance claims that were denied due to fraudulence.
"A fraudulent insurance claim can lead to denied coverage, but also has future insurance implications, and could even result in criminal charges," SGI said in a news release Monday. "So avoid the pulp fiction; just be honest when making your claim."
The claim worth most on the top five list involved a customer who said some large appliances — including a fridge — were stolen, and the home's flooring was damaged during a break-in.
An insurance adjuster took photos as part of the process, but they showed a fridge was present. The customer said it was a replacement, the release said.
Investigators later found photos, taken a year-and-a-half prior to making the claim, that showed the same fridge and the same damage to the floor, the release said. Police had also noticed items in the home that had been reported stolen.
The claim worth over $228,000 was denied.
Windows, taillights smashed, interior destroyed without a trace, customer claimed
A claim worth $44,000 was denied after a vehicle's database busted the customer.
A customer parked their vehicle on a residential street before walking inside their home and going to sleep. But when they woke up the next morning, the vehicle's windows and taillights were smashed, and the interior was destroyed, the release said.
"Despite all the damage that would have taken a lot of time and made a lot of noise and mess to create, there was no debris or footprints around the vehicle," SGI said, adding that the customer claimed to have had both sets of keys all night.
However, investigators checked the technical information downloaded into the vehicle, which revealed that a key was used hours after the customer said they were in bed.
Footage shows customer hit-and-ran while intoxicated
A customer attended a party but had too much to drink, so he phoned a family member to bring him home — or so he claimed.
The customer said he left the party without checking his vehicle, then found his vehicle damaged the next morning, the release said.
The customer claimed his vehicle had been stolen, and that the thief was involved in a hit-and-run while the customer was at the party.
But footage from a neighbourhood security camera showed the customer leaving the party with a bag that was found inside the vehicle after the alleged hit-and-run.
When presented with this information, the customer admitted to being behind the wheel.
He was financially responsible for the damage to both vehicles involved in the incident, and was denied $24,000, the release said.
Woman who crashed into bridge claimed to walk 12 km barefoot
A woman reported her vehicle stolen to SGI while being far from home. She didn't have a phone to report the theft, so she started walking the 25-kilometre trek home.
Meanwhile, police were responding to a vehicle collision. The vehicle was the woman's and it had struck a bridge, the release said.
The bridge was 12 kilometres from where the woman had said it was stolen. Police also found the woman intoxicated and barefoot a few hundred metres away, the release said.
When pressed about being found near the scene by an insurance investigator, the customer said the accident happened after she walked past the bridge and denied being the driver.
"When asked how she could have walked more than 12 [kilometres] in an hour, barefoot, she stated she was a fast walker," the release said.
The woman's claim was denied for giving a false statement. She lost out on over $12,000 in damages from the claim.
Driver swerves into false statement
Police contacted SGI one summer night to report they'd had complaints of a possible impaired driver. Officers later found the damaged vehicle, but could not confirm who was behind the wheel, or how the damage happened, the SGI release says.
An insurance investigator checked out the scene, recorded the damage and took photos. He asked around a local establishment and confirmed the owner of the vehicle had been drinking the night of the incident.
Months later, the owner made a claim stating that the damage occurred after the first snowfall, when they swerved to miss an animal and hit a curb.
"The 'new' damage matched the photographic evidence from the summer," the release said, adding that the vehicle's owner confessed after being presented with that information.
The claim, which would have granted $10,000 to the owner, was denied.
Anyone with information about potential insurance fraud is asked to contact SGI's special investigation unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-667-8015, ext. 6887.
Anonymous tips can be made to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.