Saskatchewan Government Insurance’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) says it investigated about $5.6 million worth of insurance fraud in 2018.

The SIU looks into suspicious insurance claims. SGI says it is important work because insurance fraud costs the insurance company as well as its customers.

“SGI, like any insurance company, is focused on loss prevention and reduction — this includes crime and fraud prevention,” executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the Auto Fund Penny McCune said in a media release.

“To that end, the SIU is concerned with finding the truth and getting our customers the benefits they’re entitled to. Insurance fraud means higher rates for everyone.”

SGI also released its top five insurance fraudulent claims for 2018, with some creative names for the frauds.

“D-N-Airbags”: A vehicle’s keys were reported stolen and the vehicle crashed a few blocks away from the owner’s home. The SIU found the owner was driving the vehicle when it crashed because of a DNA sample collected from the airbag. SGI says the claim was denied and the vehicle’s owner had to repay the $15,000 in damages.

“Cooking with gas”: SGI denied $28,000 in damages when a customer claimed their truck caught fire while idling in cold weather. The SIU found evidence that the owner soaked the interior of the truck in gas and deliberately set it on fire.

“Caught on camera”: A $60,000 claim was denied by SGI for a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run. The owner claimed to SGI that the vehicle was stolen. SGI says eyewitness accounts and surveillance video showed the owner was a passenger in her own vehicle. The owner admitted to the SIU that the vehicle was not stolen and the driver at the time of the crash did not have a licence.

“Total burnout”: SGI denied a $4,400 claim for the total loss of a vehicle that caught fire. SGI was told by the owner that the vehicle was stolen. SGI was given a video by a witness showing people leaving the scene of the burning vehicle. One person in the video said “let it burn.” The SIU examined the video and found the fire was intentionally set.

“Doggone It”: An SGI customer repaid $2,000 in damages after it was found they intentionally drove into a slough. The customer told SGI they were swerving to miss a dog, but a video was given to SGI showing the vehicle was not trying to avoid an animal.

An honourable mention: SGI gave an honourable mention to a customer who claimed to hit a deer. Police were also investing a hit-and-run in the same area on the same night. The SIU interviewed the owner of the vehicle who admitted the vehicle was involved in the hit-and-run and a relative without a licence was driving. SGI says the claim was worth more than $13,000.