Insurance refusals are not unusual and nor is the idea of somebody doing something fraudulent to make a claim. However, in the world of potentially fraudulent insurance claims surely this one is king.
In this case, the spotlight shines on Christopher Robinson, a British expat living in New Zealand and the fire that destroyed his $1.6 million mansion.
According to a report by The Independent
, Robinson, in his late 60s, moved to the island with his wife and two children back in 2005 and on September 09, 2011 the couple drove 400km to visit Hamilton. On that night, neighbours phoned the emergency services to say that the Robinson property was in flames – it, along with Robinson’s Mercedes E-Class, was destroyed.
However, fast forward nearly five years and Robinson is yet to receive a payout from his insurer IAG. Why? Because, according to New Zealand’s Stuff
magazine, the investigators believe that Robinson himself set the fire – using a remote control.
Forensic tests discovered an Acer desktop computer which it is claimed was remotely accessed during the fire. There were also reportedly burnt remains of two printers connected to the computer which experts believe were a sign that the fire involved an accelerant such as petrol.
The magazine reports that investigators believe that Mr Robinson logged into his computer remotely, sent a command to the printer which pulled a piece of paper. The paper in turn pulled on some string – and this was attached to a switch. The switch operated a 12V battery which lit a match and set alight a flammable liquid which ultimately set the whole house in flames.
Sound far-fetched? The police don’t think so – Mr Robinson was charged with arson and insurance fraud. However, the insurer was unable to prove a print command had been sent despite forensic work.
Nevertheless, the insurer still refused to pay out believing the fire was deliberate. Mr Robinson claims it was started by an intruder. This bizarre case looks set to continue.
AXA wins lawsuit against father and son fraudsters
“Sorry grandad – I crashed both your cars.”