Our investigations

Loss adjusters were initially appointed to review the claim and they had no concerns that the incident wasn’t genuine. However, the amount of alcohol and tobacco which was allegedly stolen during the incident was suspicious.

The policyholder wasn’t able to supply evidence of the level of stock he had prior to the incident, so we carried out a volumetric exercise based on the amount of stock that was stolen and the shop’s shelves being full: 

  • The total combined weight of cigarettes and tobacco stolen - 245kgs.
  • The total combines weight of alcohol stolen - 468kgs.
  • Total weight of items stolen - 713kg (over half a tonne!)

We requested a copy of the security alarm recordings but the policyholder refused to send this to us, which raised further suspicion.

Analysis of the CCTV footage shows the culprits inside the shop for 3 minutes and 25 seconds. It also shows they were using a single bag to load the stolen items, which is thrown over the counter with ease, despite there being allegedly half a tonne of stock in the bag. The audio of the footage has no sound of bottles banging or breaking suggesting only little, if any, alcohol was actually stolen.

Our investigation established that our policyholder had an outstanding County Court Judgement and had financially difficulties, potentially a motive for making an exaggerated claim. We referred the case to our solicitors to see if we had reasonable prospects of successfully proving fraud and invoking the fraud clause. Based on the above they agreed that the claim appeared to have been 30% exaggerated. We wrote to our policyholder informing them of our concerns and invited them to respond. An adequate response wasn’t forthcoming so we invoked the fraud clause which cancelled the policy from the date the fraudulent claim was submitted.
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