Insurance serves an important role in our society. It allows us to protect ourselves financially against the bad things that can happen in life. While real insurance claims have helped hundreds of thousands of people, there are more than a few people who try to take advantage of the system.
One such tale involves a phlebotomist and a mortuary assistant in Los Angeles. These two held a funeral for poor James Davis – the only problem was, James Davis never existed. He was nothing more than a mannequin in a coffin, weighted down with cow meat. Their plan to collect $950,000 on poor Mr Davis’ life insurance was foiled when the doctor refused to prepare false medical documents.
Over in Texas, Clayton and Molly Daniels also cooked up a scheme to claim on their life insurance. Knowing they would need a body to make a claim, the couple took to grave digging. The plan was to put the body in their car and set it on fire. Clayton would disappear, Molly would claim the $110,000, and then Clayton would return as Molly’s new boyfriend. The only trouble was, when the body was DNA-tested, it was found to be an 81-year-old woman.
The lack of a body didn’t deter British couple, John and Anne Darwin. John went “missing” on a canoe trip, and Anne filed a claim on his life insurance after it was assumed he was dead. Anne was supposed to join John in Panama, but he reportedly got lonely waiting for her, so he came home and claimed amnesia. The police didn’t buy it, and the couple was charged with fraud and sent to jail.
Moving away from life insurance claims and on to property insurance. In Minnesota, Jason Sheedy made a claim on his insurance after some expensive art pieces were stolen from his van while moving to a new house. The stolen paintings included works by Salvador Dali, Rembrandt and Peter Max, allowing Sheedy to make a successful claim of $250,000. He was caught out a few years later when he tried to sell those same art works through an art auction site.
In Texas again, and to the story of teacher Tramesha Fox. Hard-up for money, Fox offered two failing students a higher grade to steal and torch her car, so she could claim the insurance on it. The scheme was uncovered when the students received suspiciously good grades, after which Fox was charged with insurance fraud and arson, and the students were charged with arson.
Last up, we have Carla Patterson of Virginia, who claimed to find a dead mouse in her soup at Cracker Barrel. Patterson claimed $500,000 from the restaurant for emotional damages (which would have been paid by the restaurant’s insurance company). However, after undergoing an autopsy, the mouse was found to have no soup in its lungs, and showed no signs of being cooked. Patterson was then convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion.
Stories aside, insurance can be a valuable investment. For those people who are not crooks, it can provide financial assistance when it’s needed most. Suncorp provides a range of insurances – check out insurance and life insurance quotes from Suncorp.com.au, and find the right policy for you today.
This guest post was made possible by Suncorp.