On February 1, 2020, a break in and theft of a truck occurred at a Calgary autobody shop. Police released information about the theft, including a video from the shop’s surveillance cameras and a picture of the heavily damaged truck that was found in Mclean Creek on February 27th. After receiving additional evidence related to the investigation, Calgary police charged the owner of the truck with two counts of fraud over $5000, along with one count of break and enter and one count of public mischief.
The owner stole his own vehicle in an attempt to receive an insurance payment. The police predict that this was because he owed a significant amount of money to the autobody shop where his truck was being stored. The auto shop was not involved in the theft. Presumably, the truck owner still owes the shop for all the repair work that was done on the now-destroyed vehicle.
This case serves as a warning to other Canadian auto body shops to be aware of these types of incidents and to protect your garage against unforeseen circumstances by having a comprehensive garage insurance policy. Along with a garage policy, it is necessary to also hold a commercial general liability (CGL) policy to provide protection in the event of legal fees and claims. Garages should also carry property & business interruption insurance with appropriate limits.
It is also important to look at the exclusions to your garage policy and if necessary, consider adding on endorsements. For example, the Open Lot Pilferage Endorsement (SEF 74) can be added to a garage policy and provides coverage for a vehicle that is stolen from an open lot or unroofed space. Without this endorsement, open lot thefts are not covered under a standard garage insurance (SPF 4) policy.
Car insurance fraud is everyone’s problem, as it negatively impacts consumers insurance premiums. You can learn how to report insurance fraud on the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) website. If you believe you’re a victim of fraud, contact your insurance broker.
If you are looking for a garage insurance policy package, or have questions about your current coverage, contact the expert commercial auto insurance brokers at Fuse Insurance.
Image credit: CBC News Calgary
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