If you have had Aurora, CO Renters Insurance for any length of time, you’ve probably made the same complaint as everyone else on the planet. “I pay for this every month, and I’ve never gotten anything back out of it!” That’s a common complaint, but for most people it’s just talk.
In other cases, people decide to do something about it to get money back out of the policy. With depressing regularity, folks try to commit renters insurance fraud, and inevitably what gets noticed is the ridiculous complexity of the claim.
Nicolas Di Puma wanted money. He wanted money now, and he didn’t care much about the consequences. Apparently, neither his home nor his convertible meant very much to him, compared to the cash. He claimed that he managed to start a stove fire. Entirely believable, and something that happens every day.
It seems, from some additional sources, however, that he was cooking on a wood stove. Not generally a great idea, but again something that people do frequently. Somehow, one of the burning pans ignited a bucket of coals.
When he tried to put the fire out, he stated that he used a kitchen towel to try to smother the flames. A little counter-intuitive, but people panic and do things that don’t make sense when faced with a fire. Such is the nature of being human, really. But since the towel didn’t put out the fire, he took one of the burning pans and tossed it out his front door.
That actually seems like a reasonable thing to do, right? There are fewer things for it to catch on fire that way, and at least the home is safe as long as the yard doesn’t turn into a brush fire. That would be a different story altogether. The problem is that somehow, he managed to toss the Pan O’ Flames® directly into the back seat of his convertible. Some accounts have it that he tossed a bucket of burning coals out the door, but nonetheless it was something on fire.
When he went to remove the container that held the rest of the fire from his home, he somehow tripped – it’s been alleged that it was over a strategically placed cardboard box – and dumped the fire directly onto his highly flammable couch. Needless to say, the home and the car were both total losses and he received not a penny in insurance proceeds for them.
What it appears actually happened is that he casually tossed burning things into his car and onto his couch, and made up the rest. We’ll never know because he took a plea deal so many of the facts are still shrouded in mystery. If you’re going to embellish details to commit renters insurance fraud, don’t overdo it. It will be obvious, and the story will break down under even light, curious questions.
In another, rather more depressing story, two people who were part of an alleged insurance fraud ring are responsible for the death of a family of three back in 1997. In trying to create an accident to get the payout, they triggered a firey pileup that killed the family. That had not, of course, been their intention, but when you involve other people in your scams, they often get hurt.
Why do people try to commit renters insurance fraud? Desperation is the number one reason. The professionals, of course, view it as a way to make money by stealing from policyholders and the insurance company. But the guy who just tries to pull a single fast one? He probably feels like he’s out of options.
It’s rarely a sense of entitlement. You paid your premiums on time, and the insurance company was there all along if you had had a loss. They would have taken care of it. Sooner or later, you probably would have had a loss, and you know they would have been there. The average person doesn’t feel entitled to the money, but they do make bad choices out of desperation.
Those who commit renters insurance fraud increase premiums for everyone else. Even if the scam is discovered, it still costs money to investigate it and root out the fraud. Statistically, the odds are that you will need your insurance policy at some point in your life – the only question is whether it’s due to your own negligence or because “life happened.” Either way, it’s there to protect you from catastrophic losses that you otherwise couldn’t recover from.
One more story, though this one is more of a head-shaker than anything. Suliman Kamara was a police officer who likely would never have had his insurance fraud found out except for one small problem.
He reported the car stolen in 2009, collected the money, and continued to drive the car.
You’d think that a NJ cop would know how to make a vehicle disappear pretty effectively, and would have the common sense not to keep driving the car. Or to keep registering the car with the same VIN. Or to let his insurer take pictures of him driving the same car. Or… You get the idea.
He was nailed when a representative of his insurance company happened to be near his home one day and noticed the car outside the home. Pure chance, really. That, combined with excessive complexity and the idea that no one would notice he was driving the stolen car in question – and that he didn’t think the VIN would be on record as stolen – was his downfall.
Don’t commit renters insurance fraud, the details will get you.
Do, however, feel free to make legitimate claims against your policy when you have a loss that you can’t bear on your own. That’s what it’s designed for, after all. Legitimate claims are not investigated for fraud, and legitimate claims are paid promptly so that you, a legitimate policyholder, can move on with your life.
To find out more about how renters insurance can protect you from legitimate losses, and to make sure your family has the protection they need, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Colorado renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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