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Man insures car 26 minutes after crash, WA officials say. Now he’s charged with fraud

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 6/8/2022 Vandana Ravikumar, The Charlotte Observer

A Washington man was charged with insurance fraud after he was accused of adding a car to his insurance policy shortly after getting into an accident.

The Battle Ground man was charged with false claims or proof and attempted theft, according to a June 7 release from the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The agency said he was involved in a two-vehicle crash in April 2019, and that his car wasn’t insured at the time.

The man added his 2004 Nissan to an existing policy without telling his insurance company that he had just been in an accident, the release said. The other driver filed a claim against his policy the next day, and the insurance company Progressive found that the Clark County Sheriff’s Office had responded to the crash 26 minutes before the man had added his car to the policy, the release said.

Progressive denied the man’s claim for $3,730.03 and reported the incident to the state insurance commissioner’s criminal investigation unit, the release said.

A similar fraud case

A Washington woman was charged with insurance fraud under similar circumstances, according to the release.

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The woman, from Spokane Valley, was involved in a crash in February 2020. She reinstated her Progressive policy at 4:07 p.m. local time and then said she had been in a crash at 4:49 p.m. the same day, the release said.

When reinstating her policy, the woman told Progressive that she hadn’t been in a collision in the last five years, the release said. The agency later found that the other driver involved reported the accident at 3:53 p.m., before the woman reinstated her policy, the release said.

Progressive denied the woman’s claim for $12,471.10 and referred the case to the state insurance commissioner’s criminal investigation unit, the release said. She was charged with presenting a false claim for insurance purposes.

Insurance companies are legally required to report instances of fraud to the commissioner, the release said.

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