Wednesday, July 11, 2001
(Straight from the Virginia State Police, Insurance Fraud Division, Dinwiddie County)Source: Emmitsburg.net
A Charlotte, North Carolina man having purchased a box of very rare, very expensive cigars insured them against fire among other things. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars and without having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated that the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay,
citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The man sued and won.
In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed that the claim was frivolous. He stated nevertheless that the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without defining what is considered to be "unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim.
Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid the man $15,000.00 for the rare cigars he had lost in the "fires."
After the man cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on twenty-four counts of ARSON. With his own insurance claim and testimony for the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to twenty-four months in jail and a $24,000.00 fine.