Sunday, April 22, 2012

Insurance Fraudsters Who Made False Claims

With public sentiment on one's side, a wealthy person who survived the Titanic could make a claim that they had lost a diamond necklace or a valuable item which was actually still sitting in their pocket.  For example, in the 1997 film Titanic, an extremely valuable necklace called "The Heart of the Ocean" is claimed as an insurance loss, and the insurance record is what led the explorers in 1996 to search for the Titanic -- they thought the necklace might still be in a safe.

The tendency would be to trust the victims making the insurance claims, yes?  An insurance company would look like a brute for arguing with a Titanic victim, so they would just pay out.

Did anyone lie and take advantage of this?

More importantly, were there any big-time lies or acts of insurance fraud on a massive scale, made by the owners of Titanic?

Robin Gardiner in his book Titanic: The Ship that Never Sank centers his entire book around such a claim.  He argues that the entire Titanic sinking was one huge act of insurance fraud by J.P. Morgan & Co.

If one is willing to buy a theory of grand larceny on such a massive scale, it is also possible to believe that several of the wealthier survivors made out nicely by "exaggerating" their losses. 

One might almost begin to wonder if people who didn't die -- who possibly made it to a nearby ship -- suddenly shut up when they realized how much money they could make by pretending to be dead or staying dead!