WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Public Insurance Company has shared its annual Top Five Fraud List, which focuses on the insurance company catching people trying to make what it calls “bogus claims.”
“MPI publishes its annual list of top five frauds to raise awareness of the costs associated with auto insurance fraud – roughly $ 50 per customer per year,” said Curtis Wennberg, chief operating officer of MPI, in a Press release.
At the top of the list is an incident in which MPI said a man reported that his new trailer had been stolen in a rural community in Manitoba.
BURNT TRAILER FOUND OUTSIDE TOWN
MPI said the trailer was found outside of town and burned on a gravel road.
A Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigator attended the scene and took photos of the burnt trailer and attempted to determine the route the trailer would have taken.
The investigator noticed a nearby surveillance camera pointing towards the freeway and after reviewing the footage, the investigator discovered that the trailer was being towed around midnight by a truck similar to the owner of the trailer.
The SIU investigator also discovered that the owner was in financial trouble.
“During the interview with the SIU investigator, the insured denied having been involved in the theft. However, he was unwilling to allow MPI access to his truck so that the investigator could download data from it that would help determine the vehicle’s whereabouts. the night of the flight, ”MPI said in a press release.
Following the interview, the owner of the trailer withdrew his claim and MPI estimates that it saved $ 37,000.
INVESTIGATORS FIND “ANOMALIES” IN CLAIMS
The second incident on the list occurred after a woman was injured in an accident. She was able to return to her part-time job but was unable to work full-time due to physical demands.
Despite the part-time employment, she was able to receive the Income Replacement Benefit (IRI) from MPI, which is determined from the tax documents.
MPI said an IRI calculator noticed problems in a letter and email the woman submitted from an accounting firm.
MPI called the accounting firm and it was determined that the email and letter were fabricated.
Investigators then examined the woman’s information and found “many anomalies” regarding her tax information.
MPI said there were several points where the information changed, including two different years where she had the exact same income down to a dime.
MPI terminated the woman’s benefits and estimated it saved $ 800,000. MPI is also seeking to recover an additional $ 100,000.
BUNNY BLAME FOR A CRASH
Another incident reported by MPI involved an alleged rabbit pushing a driver to reach a light standard.
A 20-year-old man told MPI that he had to brake the brakes after a rabbit ran in front of him and it hit the light.
During the investigation, investigators discovered several “irregularities” in the driver’s story. They also discovered that the man was having financial problems.
Investigators downloaded the vehicle’s crash data recorder and found that the vehicle was actually accelerating when it crashed.
MPI rejected the request and saved $ 31,000.
MPI INVESTIGATOR SERVED BY THE CLAIMANT AT THE STORE
Number four on the list occurred after a man said he couldn’t work after being involved in an accident.
He began to receive income replacement payments, but after several months a case manager became suspect.
Investigators found the 33-year-old regularly worked at a retail outlet in Winnipeg and had even served as an MPI investigator.
MPI confronted the man about the situation and said he was not working but volunteering.
His benefits ended, resulting in savings of $ 300,000.
Real estate agent says he can’t drive after accident
The last incident on the list also involved a man in an accident. MPI said the man was too traumatized to drive and was also uncomfortable being a passenger.
MPI stated that he was unable to continue working as a real estate agent and began to receive income replacement benefits.
Over time, an MPI case manager noticed some issues and referred the case to the SIU.
Investigators observed the man and found that he had returned to work and regularly showed homes and drove around town.
“On one occasion, the case manager called the man, who whispered on the phone that he couldn’t speak because he was at the doctor’s office. During this conversation, the man was actually pointing to a house with customers, while also being observed by investigators, ”MPI said.
MPI ultimately denied his request, which saved nearly $ 110,000.
Since the end of November, MPI said it has saved more than $ 13 million.
MPI said that if anyone has information about insurance fraud, they can call MPI at 204-985-8477 or 1-877-985-8477.