Feb 24 2013
What do an elderly woman, a national tragedy, and a mouse have in common? All three have been used as key pieces to insurance extortion plots that resulted in prison sentences. Unfortunately it’s you, the law-abiding consumer, who ends up paying for these wild flights of insurance scam insanity. Often, insurance companies will lose out on millions of dollars, in some cases, before these people are ever caught; resulting in higher premiums for everyone else while these insurers recoup their losses. Furthermore, when legitimate accidents happen, these “boy who cried wolf” types have made it even harder for those who really need their claim fulfilled to do so. Believe it, or not, every year there are hundreds of attempts at insurance fraud, but here are a few of the especially devious ones.
- Using a National Tragedy As an Opportunity
During the infamous terrorist attack of 9/11, many men and women lost their lives, and insurance companies received a flood of bogus insurance claims from individuals claiming to have lost a loved one, who didn’t.
The very first case of this came out of Pike County, Georgia, from a man named Charles Gavett, who claimed that his wife had been present in the Twin Towers at the time of the attack. Of course, this wasn’t true—in fact, she was in on the whole plot to collect on her life insurance policy.
Unfortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Gavett, their plot was spoiled when a neighbor spotted Mrs. Gavett shopping in their very own town. A word to the wise: if you’re going to fake your own death, you actually have to appear to be dead!
- “There’s a Mouse in My Soup!”
There have been plenty of outrageous claims in the restaurant industry, but very few result in $500,000 insurance settlements for “emotional damages”. Which is what Carla Patterson was gunning for by staging a very elaborate “There’s a Mouse in My Soup” scheme at her local Cracker Barrel—Carla placed an already deceased mouse into her vegetable soup and used her young son to aid in her performance.
Unfortunately for Carla—and even more unfortunate for her son—the restaurant’s insurance company ordered an autopsy be performed on the mouse. Results conveyed that the mouse had not been cooked, nor did it have a single trace of soup in its lungs.
- Driving Miss Daisy—Sort Of
Running from the law, Clayton Daniels looked for a way out of his infraction, and his wife Molly came up with the seemingly perfect solution—they would fake his death, collect on the insurance policy, and the hunt for Clayton would be called off.
In order to pull this off, of course, they would need a body and figured that a nice, extravagant, car crash would eliminate any evidence that the body wasn’t Clayton’s.
Whose body was it then? That of an elderly woman, Charlotte Davis, buried in the local cemetery. Clayton and Molly dug her up, positioned her in the driver’s seat of Clayton’s car, lit a match to her, and pushed the car off of a cliff.
In this particular case, if the investigators hadn’t managed to prove that the fire had originated from the front seat and that the body wasn’t Clayton Daniels, it can be assumed the couple would have been caught anyway. Especially since Clayton showed back up a few weeks later with dyed hair and a mustache, pretending to be Molly’s new boyfriend!
All of the above stories have one main theme in common – insurance. It’s important to find a reliable life insurance provider out of the masses of choices out there. Suncorp Life Insurance is one of Australias leading providers. You can find out more at suncorp’s website if you’re interested in learning more about their current offerings.