1. Dubai Aventador Fire
The internet seems to be ripe with Lamborghinis catching on fire lately. Several weeks after the Gallardo that went out in a tragic blaze of glory in India, this Aventador 50th Anniversario Roadster burned to utter ruin in Dubai, the land where even the police cars cost more than your house. (Note: the SV decals are not in fact genuine). According to reports, local authorities cited manufacturing fault as the cause of the blaze that took this beautiful special-edition Aventador before its time. While it is always a tragedy to see such a marvelous driving machine go to waste, at least this was a legitimate insurance claim and not an attempt to scam the system at the cost of one of the world’s great automobiles.
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1. Dubai Aventador FireThe internet seems to be ripe with Lamborghinis catching on fire lately. Several weeks after the Gallardo that went out in a tragic blaze of glory in India, this Aventador 50th Anniversario Roadster burned to utter ruin in Dubai, the land where even the police cars cost more than your house. (Note: the SV decals are not in fact genuine). According to reports, local authorities cited manufacturing fault as the cause of the blaze that took this beautiful special-edition Aventador before its time. While it is always a tragedy to see such a marvelous driving machine go to waste, at least this was a legitimate insurance claim and not an attempt to scam the system at the cost of one of the world’s great automobiles.
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2. The Infamous Bugatti Veyron and The Pelican That Wasn’thttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NJmB1F2mdE a. In one of the most infamous auto insurance claims of all time, Andy Lee House caused quite a splash with his Bugatti Veyron back in 2009. One of the first people in the US to own a Veyron, House was caught on camera crashing the exotic car into a lake at speed. When he exited the vehicle, he left the engine running, pulling water into the engine causing irreparable damage to the car’s beauty of an engine. The Veyron may be built for speed, but it is most certainly not built for water and House, who would end up all wet in more ways than one. b. As would be expected, a series of investigations followed the incident with special attention due to the high value of the Veyron. Excuse the pun, but in watching the footage of the event, it was pretty clear that something was fishy as the Veyron is hurled into the lake from an otherwise open road. The 39-year-old House pled guilty to the charge of wire fraud before US Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin and could serve 20 years in prison for the incident. Car enthusiasts who justifiably take extreme offense to such blatant disregard for the beauty of the Veyron might even consider this a light sentence. It’s always a tragedy to see such a beautiful driving machine ruined, but deliberate destruction is just plain atrocious. c. In October of 2009 House purchased the vehicle for $1 million and had it insured for a hefty $2.2 million. Only a month later the infamous crash took place at Gulf Bay near La Marque, Texas. The following day House filed the $2.2 million claim on his Veyron. House claimed that he swerved while reaching for his cell phone, and there were even rumors that he cited a low flying pelican as the cause for the accident. Thanks to the cell-phone footage, it was pretty easy to determine that neither of these were the cause of the accident. However, the story doesn’t end there; House allegedly made attempt to bribe someone to steal and wreck the car. Clearly this man is not worthy or deserving of such an exceptional vehicle and justice was served.
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3. Hail Storm:Sometimes natural disasters and extreme weather are causes for totally legitimate insurance claims. One such occasion took place back in the 1990’s when several auto insurance companies paid out large sums for claims following a catastrophic hailstorm. Apparently during these times, it’s not uncommon for a few bad apples to file false claims and try to collect on the mishap. It’s also pretty common for these crooks to get caught. One man took a hammer to his car in a less than genius attempt at fooling his insurer. The claim adjuster was quick to notice the perfectly circular dents in the car and easily called his bluff. Faced with the denial of his claim, the man claimed that an “unknown” assailant had damaged his vehicle. Apparently, without proof to the contrary, the company had to pay up—hard to believe this guy got away with this one but sometimes the bad guys win.
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4. Fire WorksIf you work for an insurance company and you look at a truck filled with fire works, this has got to make you nervous. Every year one man would stock up on fireworks to put on a show for his friends and family. Clearly this is best left to professionals but the man filled his pickup truck with thousands of dollars worth of fireworks in preparation for the holiday. As any genius amateur pyro-technician would do, the man was relaxing with a cigarette and when he was finished, flicked the butt out the window. Can you guess what happened next? The man narrowly survived the explosion; the same could not be said for his vehicle. The truck was a total loss and put a damper on his insurance company’s holiday celebrations who had to replace the vehicle. (image source: https://toraadventure.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/copan-ruins-and-christmas-day-123/)
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5. Hot for the Teachera. Everyone has a hard time paying the bills once in a while, and Tramesha Lashon Fox went to some pretty extreme measures to try and outwit the insurance system. Fox was in hot water to say the least, owing $20,000 to the bank. While we tend to think of teachers as upstanding citizens who set an example for our young people, in this case that would be an incorrect assumption. You won’t believe this one. Fox concocted a plan just like something out of a movie when her car was about to be repossessed. Just as Fox was failing to make her car payments, a few of her students were failing in class. Her solution? She offered a couple of students good grades for some extracurricular work that will shock you. b. To earn the extra credit they needed to fix their failing grades, Fox persuaded the kids to steal her Chevy Malibu and torch it so she could collect on the insurance. It’s hard to believe that a teacher would stoop to this level, but Fox made a desperate play that, unsurprisingly, did not work out the way she hoped. Unfortunately, she was about as good at crime as she was at setting an example for her students. Fox failed to cover her tracks was not only fired from her job, but she was convicted of arson and insurance fraud. It’s not quite that easy to fool insurance companies or the law and justice was served.
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6. Gallardo Fire in IndiaWhen a beautiful Italian supercar catches fire, everyone breaks out the smart-phones to catch it on camera. It’s almost like there’s a sick satisfaction taken out of jealousy from those who would love to own such a car but can’t afford one. Of course the social media waves were swelling too when this bright orange Lamborghini Gallardo burned to a crisp in the middle of a busy street in the Badarpur district of Delhi, India. When the fire began, the car had reportedly just left a service center which may have been related to the cause of the fire. The car was taken to the local police station for investigation where it was discovered that an oil leak was likely the initial source of the blaze. The Lamborghini inferno (which would almost make a decent name for a Lambo model) consumed the entire rear half of the car making almost unquestionably a total loss. Luckily, no injuries were reported.
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7. Insurance Fraud and Staged Crash Ring Foileda. Featured in the hall of shame on the insurancefraud.org website, personal-injury lawyer Joseph Haddad will go down in history as one of the industry’s most infamous crooks. Not only did he allegedly take part in planning staged crashes, but he exposed victims to dangerous medical treatment including unnecessary and highly addictive medical treatment. Whether or not crash victims were hurt, the Bridgeport, CT man would recruit victims and falsify medical claims in order to collect millions in insurance claims. His associates would buy official police crash reports and illegally seek out victims and hound the motorists to seek treatment at crooked medical facilities that were aligned with the schemer. b. The next step in this elaborate scheme involved the crooked doctors, and chiropractors on Haddad’s payroll who would then produce whiplash and disability reports without even examining the patients. Faked medical records and scores of unneeded and addictive prescriptions along with worthless treatments and fake injury reports were all a part of scheming insurance companies for millions. Eventually, federal agents infiltrated the elaborate crime ring by posing as crash victims. After recording thousands of conversations in which Haddad encouraged patients to request stronger and more expensive medications, agents built a massive case against Haddad. While the ring was foiled in 2014, the mastermind crook only received little more than four years in federal prison. He must have used some of the money for a good lawyer.
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8. Lamborghini Huracan and Rolls Royce Arson Tragedya. In a horrific fire that claimed not one but three world-class supercars, a $240,000 Lamborghini Huracan, a $480,000 Rolls Royce Phantom and a $320,000 Rolls Royce Ghost were the victims of a recent arson case in Birmingham, England. The photos speak for themselves, but there was no question as to the degree of loss when it came to insurance as the vehicles were burnt literally to the ground. You’d pretty much need to see the purchase receipt just to identify the remains of the two cars. Photos from the West Midlands Fire and Rescue services show the complete loss of the better part of a million dollars worth of cars. b. Nearly 50 firefighters were required on scene at the workshop on where the August 21st fire took place, but luckily nobody was hurt in the incident (except for the feelings of any car enthusiasts viewing the photos). Of course, the owners of the Lambo and Rolls Royces were more than likely devastated by the loss of these beautiful vehicles. The heat was apparently so intense that the Huracan’s carbon fiber parts melted straight to the chassis.
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9. Ferrari 458 Fire and the World’s Worst Brata. You may recall our coverage of what is likely the worst case of spoiled brat syndrome in recorded history when an ungrateful 20-year-old hired a couple of goons to torch his Ferrari 458 Italia. Why would anyone do such a thing? Quite simply, he wanted a better car. The son of a Swiss millionaire was apparently unhappy with the $240,000 458 that his father bought him, which was one of 15 cars given to the young man. In addition to the car collection, the man was allegedly provided a $10,000 monthly allowance and was given a property portfolio worth around $30 million. b. According to sources, the perpetrator claimed that he was encouraged by a car dealership to commit the insurance fraud so that he could use the money to buy a new vehicle. So, he conspired to have the car destroyed and make the incident look like car theft. While he was at a “massage parlor,” two friends were paid $15,000 to carry out the malicious plan. Unfortunately for the amateur criminals, security cameras captured the entire incident on tape. Unsurprisingly, daddy’s lawyers kept the young man out of jail and justice was served for the equivalent sum of three month’s allowance and 22 months probation.
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10. FINALWhile nobody likes paying for car insurance, it’s there to protect you and others in the case of an accident. As these stories demonstrate, insurance fraud is no joke and is never worth the trouble. Luckily for the unfortunate owners of these cars, at least the honest ones, their investments were protected. For those who were caught destroying their cars on purpose and trying to defraud insurance companies, as car enthusiasts we’re fresh out of sympathy for whatever penalties these crooks endured. Take care of your vehicle, or car karma will come right back around and bite you where it hurts.
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