March is Fraud Awareness Month, and each year, to mark the occasion, SGI gives a glimpse into some of the fraudulent insurance claims they deal with each year.  

The Special Investigation Unit of SGI examines hundreds of claims each year, and in 2023, looked at 481 claims. Of those, 263 turned out to be fraudulent. The total value of those claims was $5.9 million.  

In a release issued Friday, the Crown insurance company provided details on five of what was considered to be the most notable of the claims they received. 

One of the claims was from a woman who had reported her car as being stolen. She said she must have dropped her keys outside of the car, and someone left with the vehicle. Earlier, though, a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle had been reported as being driven by a possibly impaired driver. The vehicle struck three parked vehicles and was abandoned. Police on the scene reported the keys were gone, and the interior of the vehicle was full of empty bottles and smelled of alcohol.  

After several months, SGI received a tip that the woman who had reported the vehicle as being stolen told friends she was driving while impaired and hit three vehicles. She then fled the scene and reported the car as stolen to avoid any charges.  

The SIU investigated the claim and determined the story of the stolen vehicle was made up. When she was confronted with the results of the investigation, she admitted to lying and withdrew her claim. She was also determined to be responsible for the damages to the parked vehicles as driving impaired voids insurance coverage.  

Another claim involving a stolen vehicle was determined as fraudulent after a tip was received that found the car.  

It started when a man reported his vehicle as stolen while he was out shopping. The police investigated the complaint and while they had some questions about the man’s story, the claim went through. A tip to the SIU, however, would change everything.  

SGI found out the location of the vehicle through this tip, and it was determined the man had left his vehicle at the location months earlier. Further investigation by the police would result in charges of fraud and mischief. The man was also obligated to pay back $4,300 to SGI.  

A claim on a home insurance policy also made the list. In this case, the list of items reported on the claim looked more like someone had moved, rather than a break-and-enter case. The woman who filed the claim wasn’t able to provide any receipts for the purchases either, claiming they must have been stolen as well.  

The SIU found many inconsistencies in the woman’s story, including the quantity and kind of food reported stolen wouldn’t have fit into the deep freeze included in the photos. As well, items were said to have been taken from a garage, but there was no garage on the property. Witnesses also claimed there hadn‘t been a break-in, as the items that were reported as stolen had been sold by the woman herself on Facebook Marketplace.  

When the investigators asked the woman to come in for an interview concerning the claim, she was said to become defensive, and no longer interested in pursuing the claim. As a result, the claim was abandoned, and SGI saved $85,000.  

SGI encourages those who are aware of a potential insurance fraud case to contact SGI’s Special Investigation Unit or call Crime Stoppers to report the potential fraud anonymously.