By CRM Staff

Toronto, Ontario -- December 14, 2018 -- A Saskatchewan man’s insurance claim has been denied after his car was stolen and later torched.

Darren Lees had registered his 2007 Chevy Uplander under his mother’s name while designating himself as the primary driver of the vehicle. SGI denied the claim due to the vehicle being improperly registered.

“When a vehicle is registered to someone that does not have a financial interest in the vehicle, that vehicle is considered to be improperly registered,” Tyler McMurchy, manager of media relations for SGI, told the Regina Leader-Post.

After the claim was initially filed, Lees’ mother received a letter from SGI. Over the course of the investigation it was determined by the public insurer that Lees’ mother had no financial interest in the vehicle and that therefore the vehicle was not properly registered.

Not only did Lees not receive any compensation for the vehicle, which he paid $5,000 for in November of last year, he is also now facing more than $1,200 in bills from the fire department and towing company.

Lees accepts SGI’s insurance rules, but believes that he should have been alerted that he was improperly registering his vehicle.

“Obviously if it would have raised some red flags and somebody would have told us, we wouldn’t have done it,” said Lees.

Lees claims that he told his insurance issuer, Hook Lafrance Insurance, that he was registering the vehicle in his mother's name because he was going through a divorce and didn’t want an added asset on the books, and that he wasn’t told he was doing anything wrong.

McMurchy explained that SGI would discipline any issuer who proceeded with a transaction that they knew to be invalid. The severity of the discipline could include suspension, probation or in some cases termination.

SGI explained that improperly registering a vehicle “does not necessarily constitute fraud,” but could invalidate the vehicle’s insurance.

“Something has to be done about this, we can’t understand every law or whatever they have in their books when you go and plate a vehicle,” said Lees. 


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