Case #1: Lying Is a Slippery Slope.

An Allegheny County woman was arrested on October 27, 2021, for attempting to defraud her insurance company by misrepresenting the details of her auto accident.

The event sequence began with her purchasing an auto insurance policy on February 24, 2012. Then on March 3, the woman reported that an accident had occurred on March 1 in which her vehicle slid on ice and struck a pole, causing damage to her car.

She provided her insurance company with photographs of the damaged vehicle and requested a rental vehicle. Soon after, her story began to unravel.

Her insurer found that the weather on the date of the reported loss did not include icy road conditions. Investigators then uncovered a February 14 social media post by the woman’s boyfriend that included the same photo she had submitted with her claim on March 3. The post noted that he was the driver who ran into the pole. It soon became clear that the car was uninsured at the time of the accident and the woman finally admitted the damages that occurred prior to the policy’s inception. Not only was her claim denied, but she was charged with one count of Insurance Fraud, one count of Criminal Attempt and one count of Theft by Deception.

Case #2: Buy a Policy After Sustaining Damage? Hail No.

On August 5, 2019, a Lackawanna man reported to his insurance agency that his vehicle had been damaged by hail on August 2, 2019. An investigation revealed that the man previously contacted the insurer and reported that the same vehicle had incurred severe hail damage during the evening of May 28. At that time, a representative from his insurance company advised McCall that the damage was not covered because his policy lacked comprehensive coverage.

On July 23, McCall added comprehensive and collision to his vehicle policy and was told that the coverage would take effect on July 28. The investigator assigned to the man’s hail damage claim consulted area weather data and found that no storms had been reported for the date of August 2. However, the investigator noted that there had been reports of catastrophic weather across Pennsylvania on May 28 and 29. The insurance company denied his claim. The man was sentenced to serve 12 months of probation and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service.

Case #3: Shoddy DIY Installation — Not Precipitation — to Blame for Pool Fail

On May 4, 2020, a married Fayette County couple obtained a homeowners policy which took effect on May 5, 2020. 

In July 2020, the couple allegedly purchased an above-ground pool and installed it themselves. On August 10, 2020, they filed a claim with their insurance company seeking coverage for damage to the pool supports which buckled due to heavy rain. The insurance company inspected the pool and discussed coverage concerns with the couple, who then allegedly withdrew their claim.

Then on November 19, 2020, the couple bought a policy from another insurance company for the same residence. On March 8, the couple filed a claim with the new insurer in which they allegedly claimed that on March 6, they discovered that their pool had been damaged by freezing weather during the winter. According to the complaint, the couple denied having problems with the pool or previously filing an insurance claim for the pool. The current insurance company investigated the claim and learned that the couple previously filed the claim with another insurer. On October 6, 2021, they were arrested.

Case #4: The Case of the Disappearing Shed and Mower

On March 15, 2021, detectives of the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint, charging a 32-year-old man from Chester with Insurance Fraud, Attempted Theft by Deception, and Criminal Use of a Communications Facility.

He reportedly filed a homeowner’s insurance claim, reporting that a storm had caused damage to an aluminum shed and a riding lawnmower and table that were inside. An investigation reportedly determined that there was no evidence of a shed or riding mower at the location where the purported damage occurred. When questioned by an SIU investigator, the subject reportedly withdrew his claim.