Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MPI details year's top attempts at insurance fraud

  • Print

Don't lie to MPI.

The provincial auto insurer released its Top 5 frauds of 2012, and how dishonest vehicle owners paid the price for filing fraudulent claims.

Manitoba Public Insurance said its special investigations unit prevented payouts of $9 million in fraudulent auto-related claims this year.

MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said the government insurer has been highlighting the fraud cases for about 10 years, adding the intent is to promote MPI's fraud tip line and let ratepayers know fraud is being detected.

Smiley said the special investigations unit has about 20 staffers, all former police officers, who look into about 3,000 cases annually.

"They all have a unique skill set that they bring to the unit," Smiley said. "Some specialize in bodily injury, others in vehicle fires and others in hit-and-runs."

Fraud is detected through a variety of means, Smiley said, including calls from the tip line, information from law enforcement and suspicious MPI staff.

The top five frauds included:

-- A man denied any involvement in a collision involving his own vehicle, which had side-swiped another vehicle. Police went to the man's home, about a block away from the collision scene, and found the owner drinking beer. He denied any involvement.

However an off-duty police officer on his way to work witnessed the collision and saw the driver flee the crash and was able to pick the owner out of a photo lineup. A friend of the owner and passenger in the vehicle later confirmed the owner had been driving.

The owner was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $60,000 in vehicle damages.

-- Two men were fined $1,000 each and claims of $16,000 were denied after they admitted hiring an arsonist to destroy their vehicles.

Surveillance video captured images of an individual smashing the windows of two vehicles and setting them on fire.

As a result of the special investigations unit's work, one of the vehicle owners admitted he and another man hired a third person to destroy their vehicles to avoid repair costs.

The arsonist was a youth who was ordered to complete an alternative measures program.

-- A Winnipeg man was fined $1,000 and his $8,200 claim for a damaged vehicle was denied after he was tripped up by his vehicle's crash-data recorder.

The man claimed his vehicle was damaged when a truck ran a stop sign and hit him.

But the vehicle-crash recorder on his Chevy Cobalt revealed the car was parked at the time of the collision.

The man later admitted his car was in poor mechanical condition and he staged the collision in hopes of having it written off.

-- A Winnipeg woman was fined $1,100 and her $20,000 claim was denied after it was discovered she lied about who was driving her vehicle.

The woman told MPI she was alone at the time of a collision but the vehicle's crash-data recorder indicated the passenger seat was occupied. Witnesses told police at the scene the vehicle had been driven by a man who appeared to be impaired, smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.

-- A man who had been collecting income-replacement benefits for a year following a collision was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay restitution of $8,466 after he pleaded guilty to fraud.

MPI paid the man benefits when he claimed he was too badly injured to work. After nearly a year, the special investigations unit found the man had been working -- activity logs at his place of employment revealed he had put in 131 shifts of employment while receiving income-replacement benefits.

Manitoba Public Insurance encourages anyone knowing someone who is involved in auto insurance fraud to call the MPI TIPS Line: 204-985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477. All calls are anonymous.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 28, 2012 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local- (Standup Photo). Watcher in the woods. A young deer peers from the forest while eating leaves by Cricket Drive in Assiniboine Park. A group of eight deer were seen in the park. 060508.
  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you like Gord Steeves’ idea to sell four city-owned golf courses to fund road renewal?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google