The insured stated that his home was burglarized when he left for a job interview in another city. He maintained that he returned to find the kitchen door window broken and his belongings stolen.
The homeowner called police and claimed to be missing $39,450.00 worth of personal property and papers. No witnesses could be identified and there were no other reports of theft in the neighborhood.
Discrepancies in the story
Michele noted that the insured originally claimed he was out of town applying for a job when the loss occurred. He later insisted he was driving a truck for work at the time.
He alleged that his home showed signs of forced entry, but the police report did not indicate evidence of a break in. In addition, the insured had no documentation to support the purchase of items he contended were stolen, claiming to have paid cash for everything.
The initial theft report showed that only a suitcase was missing. Later, the homeowner filed a supplemental report that expanded his loss to include business documents, $25,000 in jewelry, tools and equipment. He also tacked on large items that, if absent, would have been immediately obvious: a sofa set, stereo, television and new clothes he valued at $5,000.
Finally, the insured reported that several credit cards and checks were stolen, a curious development since he claimed to only purchase with cash.
An EUO attempt
The insurance carrier sent the matter to Colman Law Group for an examination under oath. Michele tried several times to schedule the examination before the insured ultimately agreed to come to the firm’s Glendale office.
The insured sat down with Michele and began the examination as planned. Then it ended, quickly and abruptly.
The insured decided that his reputation was too important, that he did not want to answer a lot of questions, and that he was no longer interested in pursuing recovery of his loss. He then left the office, leaving behind his $40,000.00 property claim.