People sometimes push the boundaries when it comes to insurance claims and while some stories are funny, others can be quite ridiculous and downright sinister.
1. The lady who kept getting injured
The 72-year old gambling addict, Isabel Parker, from the USA managed to get herself injured no less than 49 times during her long career of self-inflicted mishaps. She would make herself slip and fall at liquor stores, supermarkets and department stores, then claim from her insurance company. These rituals of falling and filing claims kept her so busy that it was almost like a fulltime job. Between 1993 and 2000, she managed to collect over $500.000 from her insurance company but eventually pleaded guilty to no less than 29 counts of insurance fraud.
The retiree was convicted to four years of house arrest.
2. Waiter, there is something floating in my soup!
Carla Patterson tried to get a $500.000 insurance settlement from a restaurant in Virginia after finding a mouse in her soup. This may sound like an easy enough trick to pull off, but investigators are very clever these days. They discovered that the mouse had no soup in its lungs, indicating that it hadn't been cooked with the soup and could only have landed in her bowl if she had put it there herself.
The lady was sentenced to one year behind bars for extortion, even though she maintained her innocence.
3. The man who took things a little too far
Executive Marc Thompson was up to his ears in debt. So much so that he torched his home and killed his 90-year old mother in an attempt to claim $730.000 in insurance money. One evening, he led his mother to the basement where he had splashed flammable liquid. He then tossed a match and set the place alight. As his mother was psychotic, took medication and had mentioned committing suicide in the past, Thompson had staged the fire to look like his mother's suicide. His plan of the perfect alibi – death by smoke inhalation – literally backfired when, after federal investigation, the truth was uncovered.
Of course, no insurance payout and it will come as no surprise that Thompson was sentenced to 190 years behind bars for premeditated murder and insurance fraud.
4. Cigared for life
A lawyer from North Carolina insured a box of 24 expensive cigars against storm damage, flooding and – you'll never guess – fire. Within a month, the man filed a claim with his home contents insurance company, stating that his cigars had been lost in a series of small fires. Assuming that the man had smoked them, the insurance company refused to pay. A court later ruled, however, that the insurer did indeed owe the policy holder $15.000 to replace his cigars as they had never included a definition of 'unacceptable fire' in the insurance policy.
Not only did the insurance company pay for the claim, they also had the lawyer arrested on 24 counts of arson and insurance fraud and he was fined $24.000.
Depending on your insurance policy, there are certain things that are not covered so before you submit an unusual, weird or downright ridiculous insurance claim, make sure that you read your policy documents to know exactly what you are covered for!
MiWay is a direct, short-term insurance provider offering a range of value-for-money insurance products. As well as motor, household and homeowners insurance, there are also add-on products such as warranty cover and liability cover.