MPI names Manitoba’s top insurance frauds of 2017

Published: January 12, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) today announced its top five auto insurance frauds in the province during 2017. In its yearly list, the company details the major attempts to trick insurers into paying on false claims. MPI says it selects the main fraud events by including “sheer uniqueness of the fraud, financial savings for MPI and investigative excellence in unearthing the fraud.”

Number 1: Muddy Situation: A driver claimed to MPI, saying he was travelling on a gravel road and while trying to turn around the driver lost control and ended up in a water-filled ditch. An investigation found the vehicle had been accidently drowned while the driver was four-wheel mudding.

A social media photo showed the vehicle submerged and the driver had attempted to fix the vehicle at a dealership.

“Thanks to the seasoned investigative skills of an SIU (special investigations unit) investigator, a fraudulent total loss claim was discovered, saving MPI and its ratepayers $36,000,” MPI said in a release.

Number 2: One Hail of a Story: MPI denied a claim of around $6,000 for hail as staff found vehicle dents were caused by a tool and not hail. MPI says the drivers claimed the vehicle was damaged while it was parked, with 200 dents in total. Investigators familiar with how hail damages a vehicle determined the dents did not match known hail damage patterns.  

Number 3: Doesn’t Always Pay to Advertise: This collision claim looked to be normal when it was first received, with the novice driver admitting to being in a fender bender and saying they were with a supervising driver.

However, MPI soon after found a classified ad in a foreign-language newspaper seeking someone to act as a supervising driver. In an SIU investigation, the driver admitted there was no supervising driver at the time of the claim.

Number 4: Camera Captures All: A vehicle owner made a claim based a single-vehicle collision after the vehicle was loaned to a friend. The driver crashed the car into a cement pole in an effort to miss an animal.

That was not true. MPI used CCTV located above the crash site to find the vehicle had purposely been driven into the pole at high speed. It also showed that the driver was the vehicle owner and not a friend.

The vehicle owner repaid MPI the $7,000 cost of the repair when presented with the evidence.

 Number 5: Actively Injured: MPI paid income replacement to a claimant after they said they were too injured to work. However, as time passed “suspicions arose about how injured the claimant really was.” An extensive investigation soon discovered the claimant led a “very active life, including making regular trips to the gym where they were seen lifting heavy amounts of weights.”