More wacky claims stories from industry veterans

The case of the tenacious terrorist

Claims consultant Chris Tidball has worked for P&C carriers for more than 20 years, in roles ranging from claims adjusting to management. He has enough crazy claims stories to fill a  book–which, in fact, he’s literally working on right now.

“Ibrahim Mohammed was a downright scary claimant,” Chris recalls. Mohammed hailed from an area that was notorious for insurance fraud, where rumor had it that a lot of the fraud money was used to fund domestic and international terror cells.

Mohammed reported a stolen exotic car with expensive custom rims, that he had coincidentally purchased a rider for just a few days before the theft. The car was ultimately found, totally stripped. During investigation, the insurer tracked down the rims in the garage of a known associate of Mohammed’s. 

“When we denied the claim, he threatened to bomb our claims office,” Chris recalls. “We hired a security detail that stayed onsite 24/7 for about two months. I’ve had some scary situations, and this ranks right up at the top.”

The case of the persistent physician 

“Dr. Katz” presented a claim for flood damage to his $200,000 Ferrari, claiming a tidal surge had reached the rocker panels and the car was totaled, Chris recalls. The insurer argued repair only and questioned the legitimacy of the claim, as there was no evidence of saltwater corrosion. 

Dr. Katz took the claim all the way to the CEO of the company “and proved that the squeaky wheel always gets greased first; we totaled the car, but also got a six-figure salvage bid,” Chris says.

The case of the menacing monkey

In another Tidball tale, Chris recalls a shady body shop in Brooklyn that the insurer suspected of being behind some air bag thefts. 

“When I confronted the shop manager, he sicced his monkey on me,” he says. “He had an actual pet monkey that was really mean and very aggressive.”

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