A man who torched his brand new pickup truck and then opened a claim with Manitoba Public Insurance is the top fraud of 2014.
The man had consumed “nearly 20 beers” at a party with co-workers before they later drove him home. Fuelled with anger, the man poured a large amount of gasoline onto the front seat of his truck and tossed in a match.
The combination created a fiery explosion and burned the man’s chest and arms.
The man and his co-workers all lied to police about the incident, but later confessed the truth and MPI was contacted.
The Winnipeg man was left with a criminal record, $2,000 fine, permanent scars and a completely destroyed vehicle worth $40,000.
Other top frauds on the this year’s list include:
- A man who opened a claim to report his truck had been stolen in broad daylight from his driveway. MPI investigators discovered the truck was actually repossessed by a finance company after months of non-payment. The vehicle owner claimed he wasn’t aware he was behind on payments and his $11,000 claim was denied.
- A hail damage claim was opened by a man days after a storm swept through his community. During a visual inspection, the estimator determined about half of the dents were not consistent with hail and were manmade. The man withdrew his claim, which would have cost $10,000, after being told the results of the investigation.
- A Winnipeg driver involved in a single-vehicle collision had been collecting incoming replacement payments from MPI, but was soon found out to be going on about his life as normal as ever. The driver told police at the scene of the crash he wasn’t injured, but opened a claim a few days later citing regular bouts of dizziness, trouble walking and limited physical abilities. He was also seeing several doctors. A call to the MPI tips line began an investigation, which revealed the man had been snowmobiling, running, shovelling snow and working in his garage refurbishing a trailer. He was fined $1,000 and agreed to repay $12,000 to MPI.
- A Winnipeg man who was driving his father’s vehicle lost control and hit a light standard. He claimed he was driving the speed limit at the time, but MPI’s investigation found he was actually racing another vehicle at the time. The $20,000 damage claim to the vehicle was withdrawn after the father heard the facts. The son was ordered to sign a promissory note to the City of Winnipeg for the damage to the light standard.
Anyone knowing someone who is involved in auto insurance fraud is encouraged to call the Manitoba Public Insurance tips line (204) 985-8477 or toll-free at 1-877-985-8477. All calls are anonymous.