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MPI’s top frauds of 2022

From staging a car accident to exaggerating injuries to lying to friends, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has announced its top five fraud cases for 2022.

According to the Crown Corporation, its Special Investigation Unit (SIU) works to investigate suspicious claims to ensure the correct claims are paid for the appropriate amounts.

In 2022, MPI completed nearly 3,000 investigations, resulting in more than $14 million in savings for its clients.

On Thursday, Crown Corporation released its top five fraud cases of the year, including the following incidents:

1. A policyholder reported to police that his car was stolen from his home and then signed an affidavit to an MPI assessor alleging that his vehicle was stolen and destroyed in a fire.

When the burned car was found, a plastic container for detergent capsules was found nearby.

After police and the SIU investigated, reports surfaced that the plaintiff and this car had been sighted at a gas station earlier in the day, where the plaintiff was seen filling a similar container with gasoline.

When presented with this information, the plaintiff admitted that the fire was an accident and the car was not stolen.

The claim was denied due to the false testimony, saving MPI rate payers approximately $24,400.

2. After a policyholder’s car was hit while another driver was trying to change lanes, the individual was considered eligible for income replacement and personal care assistance because of their injuries.

The person claimed their injuries included a concussion, headache, dizziness, an ankle injury, and back, knee, and neck pain. The person said their injuries were so bad they couldn’t open a water bottle or lift a pen and could barely get out of bed. They also said they had limited mobility due to balance issues, nausea and body aches.

During the investigation, surveillance showed that this individual was far more active than they claimed. This individual has been seen walking long distances, including spending hours shopping at multiple stores, as well as lifting grocery bags and riding a motorbike.

After this investigation, the individual was informed that their services would be discontinued. This saved taxpayers more than $300,000.

3. An insured person has reported to MPI that their car was damaged by a trailer truck. They also reported that the truck driver had already reported the incident to MPI and accepted liability.

The SIU investigated and found that the two people involved in the crash knew each other and interacted frequently on social media. The damaged car was searched and jars of coolant and oil were found in the back seat. A full inspection revealed that the vehicle’s engine had seized due to lack of oil and the cost of repairing the mechanical problems was approximately $45,000.

When the SIU questioned the other driver involved in the accident, they confirmed that they intentionally hit the car with a rented moving truck after being asked for help by the owner. The owner then admitted to having staged the accident.

MPI saved taxpayers $50,000 by denying the claim.

4. After a single vehicle rollover, police found three intoxicated people outside a damaged truck with all airbags deployed.

There were no witnesses to the rollover and police were unable to determine who was driving the insured vehicle. MPI found that one person raised suspicions because the truck was registered in their spouse’s name.

One of the people was arrested for drunkenness, held overnight and released without charge. A few days later, the same person filed a complaint with MPI for a single-vehicle collision, reporting that they ran into a rut and lost control of the truck, causing the vehicle to roll. The person also claimed that he was alone in the truck and had not used drugs or alcohol in the past 24 hours.

After MPI received an affidavit, the allegation was forwarded to SIU, who learned that police had been at the scene.

The claim was dismissed due to false testimony, saving taxpayers about $62,000.

5. An individual has filed a theft complaint with MPI, reporting that their SUV was stolen from their place of work while on a night shift. Speaking to police, the person said he was in possession of a set of keys because he had misplaced the only other set. However, when this individual filed a claim with MPI, they said they had both sets of keys at the time of the alleged theft.

The SUV was found and towed to the MPI campus where technicians examined it. The investigation revealed that the built-in immobilizer was operational and functional and that a programmed key was the only way to start the car. The investigation also revealed that the ignition had not been tampered with or damaged.

Despite initial conflicting reports, MPI determined that the customer was in possession of both sets of keys and the claim was denied, saving taxpayers more than $38,000.

MPI encourages anyone with information about auto insurance fraud to call the tip hotline at 204-985-8477 in Winnipeg or toll-free at 1-877-985-8477 outside of Winnipeg. You can also submit information online.

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