Revealed: The outrageous false travel insurance claims made by Kiwis

Some use Photoshop to try and deceive claims assessors.
Some use Photoshop to try and deceive claims assessors. Photo credit: Getty Images

You might not think the insurance industry provides the most interesting work stories, but these unsuccessful claims released to Newshub by Allianz Partners may just change that perception.

The company specialises in servicing travel insurance for Kiwis and says the truth can always be found in the details.

Carefully examining each claim that comes through, claims assessors quickly learn what red flags to look out for and investigate, occasionally leading to some downright bizarre attempts to deceive.      

The gift that keeps on giving 

Blank catalog portrait  catalog book mock up on wood branding identity magazines
Photo credit: Getty Images

Handbags are one of the most commonly claimed items that are lost when travelling but this particular claim stood out as unusual from the get-go. 

One man tried to make a claim for a woman's handbag that was stolen from a car. Red flags quickly popped up when, on closer inspection, the receipt wasn't in the claimant's name.

That's not even the craziest part: When asked for proof of purchase such as a receipt, the man supplied a hand-drawn picture of the handbag-in-question.

After photo evidence was requested, the man provided a photo of his girlfriend holding the bag. The case was then escalated to the investigations team, who asked the man to clarify who the bag belonged to.

The man claimed the bag belonged to him, and that if he and his girlfriend broke up it could be used by a future girlfriend to help him "build that new relationship more quickly".

It was later discovered that the man had indeed gifted the handbag to his ex-girlfriend, and on the date of the loss she was the one who left the bag in the car.

Everything pointed in the direction of the girlfriend being the bag's rightful owner, therefore the claim was ultimately declined. It is unknown whether the man has had any luck using gifts to fast-track his relationships since. 

Photoshop fail

Revealed: The outrageous false travel insurance claims made by Kiwis
Photo credit: Getty Images

One customer put in a claim after he was hit by a car while on his moped. He claimed damage was done to his designer watch and two smartphones in the tumble. 

Although it sounds tragic, the claim was not what it seemed. After some investigation, it was discovered the claimant had paid someone to add Photoshop filters to a picture of a watch to make it appear smashed when in fact it wasn't. 

After he was found out, his reasoning was that he wanted to get back at the insurance company for not covering a previous, unrelated claim.

The incriminating phone call

If you're planning to falsely claim that your phone has been stolen, you might want to consider how you're going to call your insurance company to tell them.  

One fraud investigator recalled the awkward moment after asking the customer what phone she was using to speak from, as hers was stolen. 

She said she was borrowing her boyfriend's iPhone 7, but when asked to provide the phone's serial number she grew reluctant. Initially she made one up, which was immediately checked and confirmed to be invalid.  

Eventually, she gave the serial number of the one she was calling from, which matched the iPhone 8 Plus that she claimed was stolen. With no further questions, she quickly dropped the act and admitted she was "trying to do something she shouldn't".

Laptop lies

Computer lined up with computer parts
Photo credit: Getty Images

In another instance, one Kiwi appeared a little too friendly with their laptop repairman. 

After attempting to claim the repair for their damaged laptop, the insurance team asked to see the repair report. Instead of attaching the report, they forwarded the entire email chain between themselves and the repairer.

After scrolling down the email chain, it was clear the 'repair expert' was a close friend of the claimant helping to pull off the fraud. When asked for an independent repair report, the man decided to withdraw his claim.