In what Bankstone News can only regard as a healthy and welcome development, Insurance Times has taken to reprinting entire articles from our local current affairs journal The Northern Echo. One such article recounted the sad tale of how Sayed Jenaabaan, 46, of Darlington inadvertently cheated himself out of £10,000 by over-egging a claim for domestic burglary.
In keeping with the insurance media’s ongoing campaign to educate would-be fraudsters on pitfalls to avoid when fleecing one’s insurers, Bankstone News cannot stress enough the importance of coming up with a definitive claim story and sticking to it. According to a mitigating submission made at his recent fraud trial, Mr Jenaabaan lost out on compensation for £10k’s worth of Persian rugs stolen from his property – because he broke the “one clean hit” rule by phoning the police several times to add fresh items to his claim.
Getting back in touch with police or your insurers to extend your compensation wishlist is the claims fraud equivalent of waving a red rag at a bull. Insurance Age recently reported a case with eerie echoes of Mr Jenaabaan’s rug-theft debacle – in which a certain Mrs McGrattan of Newtownards, Northern Ireland repeatedly chased her insurer for monies she claimed she needed to pay for kenneling her cats and dogs whilst her rented house got underpinned. By making a royal pain of herself, she provoked her insurers into taking a closer interest. It soon emerged that the supposedly off-site cats and dogs had been at home all along, putting Mrs M in the path of a lawsuit for £140,000 including costs – ten times the value of her kenneling claim.*
Mr Jenaabaan, meanwhile, belatedly decided to add items such as a camcorder and a games console to his claim (items subsequently discovered in a suitcase at his home). This amateurish overclaim prompted his insurers, the Northern Echo and Insurance Times report, to refuse payment for his expensive floor-coverings and a variety of “irreplaceable sentimental items” brought to the UK by Mr J from what both papers refer to simply as “his homeland”.
Before Jenaabann was given a two years conditional discharge by Jugde Peter Armstrong at Teeside Crown Court, Mr Paul Cleasby (mitigating) had argued that his client had “learned a salutary lesson” and had already suffered enough as a consequence of his foolish actions. Mrs McG, will also have learned an expensive lesson – one whose consequences could yet see her and her stay-at-home pets out on the street by Christmas.
* See December’s Insurance Age for Bankstone News’ in depth analysis of this unedifying episode.