The following tale of insurance fraud sounds both amusing and plausible, though somewhat unlikely -
Apparently, a lawyer in Charlotte, NC once purchased a box of extremely rare and expensive cigars and then insured them against many modern perils, including fire.
Over the course of the following month, before making his first insurance premium, he smoked every one of the cigars and then subsequently filed a claim with the insurance company.
In the claim the lawyer cited that the cigars were lost ‘in a series of small fires.’
Naturally, his insurance company refused to pay, stating that he had consumed the cigars in the usual way by lighting them himself and smoking them.
Unbelievably, the lawyer sued the insurance company and won his case…
When delivering the ruling the judge in the case agreed that the claim was frivolous but stated that the lawyer did in fact hold a policy from the company which expressly warranted that the cigars were insurable and that also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be ‘unacceptable fire.’
Therefore they had an obligation to make good on the claim.
Not fancying a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid out $15,000.00 to the lawyer for his loss of the rare cigars.
Later, however, the insurance company had the lawyer arrested after he had cashed their check.
The lawyer was then convicted of intentionally burning his insured property in 24 cases of arson.
He was sentenced to 24 months in jail and received a $24,000.00 fine!
In fact, the above story may indeed be true in the sense that such a claim may have been successfully made somewhere at some point in time.
However, the specifics mentioned above appear to have no basis in fact and so this particular tale qualifies as a HOAX.