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Famous Insurance Fraud Cases

Insurance fraud is the oldest trick in the book, because no one feels bad about stealing from companies they think amount to thieves anyway. Insureds pay copious amounts of premiums, then their claims get rejected when they really need them. It’s no wonder these scammers attempted these famous insurance fraud schemes.

A List of 5 Famous Insurance Fraud Cases

1. Faked own Death.

Faking your own death is more difficult than it seems because more than all else, it requires commitment. John Darwin faked his own death in a canoeing accident and left his wife to collect the insurance money. He lived next door to her for six years before being found out. The two were sentenced to six years in prison, and the BBC made a TV drama about them called “Canoe Man”.

2. Horse Murders.

Horse insurance for prize-winning horses isn’t just really expensive pet insurance. The horses are covered for accident and death. In these policies the owner receives what amounts to a life insurance pay-out. Helen Branch discovered that nearly 100 horses had been murdered between the mid 1970s to mid 1990s for the insurance money. It was the biggest scandal to rock the equestrian world.

3. Blazing Business.

The causes of a fire are often difficult to determine, and so some fraudsters reckon they can get away with it for insurance money. The problem with fire, though, is that it’s difficult to control, as John Mango, a Toronto businessman, found out. The fire he commissioned to claim on his business insurance policy ended up killing one person and displacing numerous families. He was charged with second degree murder on top of the fraud charges.

4. Purposeful Car Accidents.

In the 90s, the car insurance fraud trend was to cause an accident with an innocent driver to claim money for personal injury. Orchestrators would purposefully injure themselves and claim up to $20,000 in insurance fraud. Some accidents, though, were fatal.

5. The Titanic.

One of the most renowned supposed insurance fraud conspiracies is the Titanic. Theorists believe that the Titanic was actually its sister ship, The Olympic which was damaged and rendered useless. Attempting to claim the insurance money for the total loss of The Olympic, some say it was used under the guise of The Titanic.

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