Following are a few examples of how dishonesty and bad decision-making can turn deer and vehicle encounters into acts of insurance fraud.
Case #1: Scammer Tries to Cash in Twice.
A 39-year-old Huntingdon County man was charged with attempting to collect twice on the same damage.
In August 2018, the driver received $5,100 to repair damages to his car that resulted from a collision with two deer. He filed another claim in September 2020, reporting he had hit five deer and the damage sustained was in the same area on his vehicle as his first incident.
An investigation by the State Attorney General’s Office uncovered that the driver had faked invoices in an attempt to trick the insurance company into believing the car was repaired after his 2018 incident.
The insurance company did not fall for the scam and the driver was charged with felony Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft charges.
Case #2: Filing a Claim After the Deer Encounter.
On September 22, 2021, Office of Attorney General special agents arrested a 40-year-old Donora, PA man and charged him with Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft by Deception. According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 8:14 PM on December 20, 2020, he was driving his vehicle when it struck a deer. At approximately 8:21 PM, while the driver was still at the scene of the accident, he allegedly went online and reinstated his lapsed vehicle policy with his previous insurer.
The criminal complaint stated that a few hours later, the man filed an online insurance claim for the accident and reported to his insurance company that the crash had occurred at 8:30 PM. During a recorded phone call with the insurer, the claimant allegedly claimed that he had reinstated his lapsed policy prior to the accident. However, according to the complaint, the insurer reviewed the accident photos that the driver had submitted and found that they were taken several minutes before his coverage became effective. The claim was denied.
Case #3: A Month of Fraud and Lies.
Early in May 2020, a 38-year-old Williamsport woman hit a deer, which caused significant damage to her uninsured vehicle. She spent the weeks that followed trying to cover up the fact that she was without auto insurance and hoped a series of lies would allow her to file a claim that would pay for repairs.
On May 11, 2020, she purchased a policy (well after her deer encounter). Three days later on May 14, she added rental coverage to it. On May 18, she called her insurance company to add gap coverage in case her vehicle was ever totaled from a deer collision. On May 20, she lied about hitting a deer that morning and filed a false claim as if this was the date of the original accident. Over the weeks that followed, she submitted falsified time sheets from work and incorrect phone numbers to her insurance company. Her lies caught up with her. She was charged with one felony count of Insurance Fraud, one felony count of Criminal Attempt/Theft by Deception, and one misdemeanor count of Insurance Fraud.
Case #4: An Unfortunate Lapse in Policy and in Judgment.
A 58-year-old driver collided with two deer in Washington on October 22, 2018. Not only did she sustain significant damage to her vehicle, but she was driving without insurance – her policy had lapsed due to nonpayment. Instead of coming clean, she started scheming. While she was still at the scene of the accident, she called her insurer to pay off what she owed to have her policy reinstated. The next morning she falsely reported that the accident took place a day after it actually had.