Thursday, June 25, 2009

Up In Smoke

If you are facing an economic meltdown, what do you do? In cases coming to light now, many desperate people lit up the car. Insurance companies are paying on arson, as the times get worse.

Of course, there are a few signs that the fire was intentional, I see. Having removed all your valuables first is a major one. That was true of house fires as well, I have learned from a little reading on the topic. The family pets being out is yet another indicator.

Pressed by the current financial environment car owners render to deceptive tricks to get more money. According to the reports from the Associated Press a growing number of people are torching, sinking or ditching their vehicles and then reporting them stolen to cash in on the insurance.

A number of SUVs were found ablaze in the Nevada desert. Cars were dumped in a Miami canal and a BMW was discovered buried in a field in Texas. Besides, some people deliberately parked their vehicles in the path of a hurricane.

You may well be asking yourself by now exactly why I'm researching burning cars. Actually, I had to file an insurance claim when a truck backed into me, and came on this development of lighting the jalopy, while I was working on that.

Wednesday at the Clay Fire Department, a special seminar was held to help investigators learn how to spot arson.

Two cars were burned at the seminar; one to show what an accidental car fire looks like, and one that was a car arson.

To make a determination between the two, the investigators there were instructed to look for specific clues, like where the fire started on the car, what was missing from the vehicle and the background information -- for instance, if the car owner had any financial or insurance problems.

Investigators say any one of those clues would typically point to fraud.

“In the state of New York, there are some signs of an increase of vehicle arsons, and it's concerning for law enforcement and the industry -- and we pay, in New York State, another $350 a year per person because of fraud investigations,” says State Police auto theft investigator Peter Kontos.

About 120 people attended Wednesday's seminar. Organizers hope investigators will now have all the tools necessary to properly spot car arsons.

Fire investigators say cars intentionally set on fire tend to burn faster and longer because an accelerant is typically used. Accidental fires are usually caused by a catalytic converter.

This is certainly a step beyond refinancing the house, which I understand no longer exists, to make it possible to go on spending more than you have coming in. As my own accident was relatively minor, I am pretty sanguine about it.

The innovation so prized by our financial institutions comes out in innumerable ways. Self-financing by lighter is yet another estimable invention, wouldn't you say? It's not going to rock the world economy just yet, though it's sure to be unwelcome news to insurance companies. The atmospehre toward insurance companies isn't exactly going to mitigate that inclination to cheat them, after the 'innovation' shown toward our pocketbooks.

My insurance company isn't that AIG that I kinda own, anyway.

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