Winnipeg, Manitoba — People look forward to a year-end wrap-up list to help take stock; top albums of the year, top plays in the NHL, top baby names, etc. All of those are mere placeholders until Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) releases its top five auto insurance frauds of 2021.
From blaming collisions on non-existent kidnappers and a dog-shaped apparition to slight misreads of the speedometer, Manitoba Public Insurance has compiled the five most egregious cases of auto insurance fraud in the province over the last year.
MPI’s most ridiculous encounter this year involved a woman in Winnipeg who concocted a creative tale to go along with her claim.
The woman alleged that her vehicle had been stolen from her garage and that the thieves kidnapped her when she arranged to pick the vehicle up from them. She claimed that her assailants took her on an hours-long joyride of the city before crashing her car.
Following an MPI investigation, the driver admitted she had been out drinking and driving with friends before fleeing the scene of the resulting crash. MPI says they saved $68,000 by rejecting the claim.
A similar case was seen in an incident involving a woman trying to take the fall for her unlicensed boyfriend after he crashed into a yard. She blamed the accident on a dog running across the street which, funny enough, did not appear on surveillance footage upon investigation.
The difference made by data crash recorder devices was made clear in another case involving a 20-year-old driver who, following his crash on a 50 km/h road, admitted he was driving at about 55 km/h.
The recorder device was able to prove that the young man was in fact moving at about 140 km/h at the time of the crash, with no brakes applied and seatbelts unbuckled to boot. Surveillance footage was also provided to support the idea that the driver was actively racing another vehicle seconds before the crash.
MPI said that by getting to the bottom of this particular case, they were able to save about $150,000 in claims costs.
“MPI releases its annual top five fraud list to raise awareness about the costs related to auto insurance fraud,” said MPI chief customer officer Satvir Jatana.
“The list is compiled based on the unique circumstances of each fraud, financial savings to MPI ratepayers, and the investigative techniques used in confirming fraudulent activity.”