When it comes to insurance claims, fraud is an increasing problem. No one individual or entity is beyond the reach of justice. When greed takes over; when exaggeration gets out of hand; when the books get cooked…you can call: The SIU.
A colorful, yet mild-mannered homeowner near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, called up her local insurance agent to report the theft of a large amount of jewelry and $62,000 in cash that she kept locked in the trunk of her pink Cadillac parked in the garage of her home.
The agent, being dutiful and well-informed, explained to Lucy Luxury that the reimbursement limits for jewelry were $1,000 and cash just $50. After doing some additional inventory, Ms. Luxury realized that she was also missing two rare paintings from her favorite artist worth $62,500 and a boxed crystal chandelier she had planned to hang in her dining room, worth $10,000.
Smelling something fishy in her story—in addition to the seafood gumbo he had for lunch—the agent referred the claim to SIU’s top Investigator for a more detailed look.
The Investigator visited Ms. Luxury’s home and inspected the Cadillac, but found no signs of forced entry. He then contacted the artist, and after trying to sell The Investigator some of his work, he reluctantly disputed the value of the artwork in the claim, as he wished the value of his work would skyrocket to the heights Ms. Luxury claimed.
In addition, the artist doubted the likelihood that the two paintings, which he sold to separate collectors in Texas and New York, would both end up in the hands of a small-time individual collector in Baton Rouge.
Finally, Ms. Luxury could not remember so much as the names of the galleries where she purchased the paintings, and presented documents for the chandelier that were obviously altered by an unskilled forger.
After examining all of the evidence with the precision and attention to detail of a Swiss clockmaker, The Investigator concluded that Ms. Luxury was indeed embellishing her losses and the claim was denied due to fraud and misrepresentation.
They say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. But what if the picture never existed…are you mute?Note: The names have been changed to protect the innocent