Manitoba Public Insurance is out with its list of the top frauds involving dishonest vehicle owners in 2012.

Every year, MPI's special investigation unit looks into about 3,000 claims.

Last year, the efforts of its special unit resulted in fraud savings of $9 million for Manitoba auto insurance rate payers, said MPI.

Here are MPI's top five in 2012:

1 - A Winnipeg man was given a $1,500 fine and ordered to pay $60,000 in vehicle damages after he pleaded guilty to making a false statement about who was driving his vehicle when it was in a crash.

The vehicle owner was driving his friend home following a night of partying when he side-swiped another vehicle and ran away, said MPI. An off-duty police officer witnessed the crash.

Police found the driver at home, where he denied any involvement.

One person who was with the man that day confirmed the vehicle owner was the driver.

2 - A security camera captured a crime resulting in two vehicle owners facing fines of more than $1,000 and their claims totaling more than $16,000 were denied.

The video shows a man walking up to two vehicles, smashing out the windows and setting them on fire, said MPI>

An arson investigation revealed one of the vehicle owners admitted he wanted to get rid of his car because of repair issues. He said the other vehicle owner wanted his vehicle destroyed as well.

The arsonist, who was a youth at the time, admitted his involvement, said MPI.

3 - Thanks to a vehicle data crash recorder, a Winnipeg man was fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to fraud. His $8,200 claim was also denied.

The man arranged for a staged collision in hopes of having his vehicle written off because it was in poor mechanical condition, said MPI. He told his MPI adjustor he was the victim of a hit and run.

The vehicle’s crash data recorder revealed that wasn’t the case.

4 - A Winnipeg woman was fined $1,100 for making a false statement that she was alone in a vehicle when she was involved in a crash.

The vehicle’s data crash recorder confirmed there was a passenger.

Witnesses told police a man who appeared impaired was driving with a female passenger.

The woman’s $20,000 claim for her badly damaged vehicle was denied.

5 - A Winnipeg man was fined $1,000 for claiming Income Replacement benefits a year after he was injured in a crash even though he had gone back to work, said MPI.

The man said he was too injured to work. But an investigation showed he was clocking hours as a professional driver.

The man was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $8,500.


Anyone who knows someone who is involved in auto insurance fraud is encouraged to call the MPI tips line at 204-985-8477 or toll-free at 1-877-985-8477.