VANCOUVER, B.C. — A man whose car ratted him out, a mom covering up for her son’s joyride, and a dash cam that exposed a bit too much of what truly happened in an accident: These are just some of the stories ICBC has revealed as their annual pick of the most bizarre fraudulent claims made in 2015.
The Insurance Corporation says drivers that make fraudulent claims costs all drivers more than $100 on their insurance policy per year. In total, dishonest claims can total up to $600 million per year in B.C.
It’s estimated 10 to 20 per cent of auto insurance claims are either false or exaggerated.
“While the vast majority of ICBC’s customers are honest, there are some drivers that choose to exaggerate or make false claims.”
In 2015, ICBC opened approximately 7,500 fraud investigations, which includes almost 5,000 claims investigations.
98 per cent of all charges laid were convicted, resulting in about 550 fraud convictions from 2010 to 2015.
“These convictions can limit a person’s career options, prevent one from crossing the border and applying for credit,” ICBC warns. “Thousands of fraudsters faced other penalties, including a complete denial of their claim, asset seizure, denial of optional insurance coverage, and other civil remedies.”
Enjoy these stories of master fraud plans gone wrong from the last year!
A man claimed his injuries from a car accident were so severe, there was no way he could possibly help his wife with simple household chores, such as washing dishes. “Shortly after his crash, our investigators collected footage of him lifting box after box of heavy floor tiles at his work site,” ICBC says. Ultimately, he was convicted of fraud, fined $1,500, and a lot of dishes to clean.
A woman from Vancouver was involved in a collision and claimed she was unable to return to work because of her injuries. However, an anonymous source told ICBC she actually had been working since the accident, and now had two sources of income. She got a one-year driving suspension, as well as a $1,750 fine after being convicted for exaggerating the extent of her injuries.
Mom Caught in Cover-Up
When a Vancouver Island mother’s Audi was reported stolen from her office’s parking lot, she said only her sons would have had access to the vehicle. She confirmed that her sons were both home, and later that day, police found her car in the Lower Mainland, abandoned and crashed into a chain link fence. More evidence started pouring in, making her statement less transparent: witnesses said a man was fleeing from the scene, and telephone records pointed to one of her sons at the scene of the crash.
“Cameras at a B.C. Ferry terminal also caught the same son purchasing a ticket. Both were convicted of providing false statements,” says ICBC.
Both the mother and son received fines: the mother was fined $2,300, and the son received a $1,150 fine as well as a one-year driving suspension. Even more, it turned out that his license was suspended at the time of the accident, so he was sentenced to 90 days in jail as well.
Dash Cam Disclosure
A man living in the Lower Mainland had his dash cam show a bit more than he wanted when he got into an accident. He claimed that when he was driving, another car veered into his lane and sideswiped his vehicle.
Although the crash was ‘certainly upsetting,’ the driver was happy to use his newly installed dash cam as evidence, as it captures the whole incident. However, the video also revealed he was riding shotgun and that his car was actually driven by someone else – an unlicensed driver – at the time of the crash. For providing a false statement, as he claimed he was driving, ICBC denied his claim.
A Fraser Valley man claimed he woke up at 2 a.m. to find his BMW missing from his driveway. He called the police to report the theft, and his car was found later that night, burnt to a crisp in a nearby park. ICBC says the man claimed he was in bed by 11:30 p.m., and that none of his keys were stolen. Unbeknownst to him, however, the car employs technology that records each time a key fob is used.
With this in mind, investigators found that an original key fob was used at 12:18 a.m. on the night of incident. The man was busted by his own car, and for that, his claim was denied.
When a bus struck a parked fire truck as it was making a turn around a transit exchange, the bus driver ensured all the passengers were okay and safely left the bus before walking over to the fire truck to exchange information with the driver.
The bus driver returned to find a man waiting for him, claiming that he was on the bus and had been injured as a result of the collision. The man filed a claim for compensation, but security cameras at the bus terminal showed that the man was never on or near the bus at the time of the collision.
The man was busted for fraud, ordered to pay a fine and spend a night in jail.