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Manitoba's Crown-owned insurer says its investigators saved company $8 million

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Public Insurance says its investigations saved ratepayers $8 million last year, and it has released a list of the top frauds they uncovered in 2013.

The Crown-owned insurance company says one of the cases involved two men who staged a collision with their high-end cars.

The pair claimed they didn't know each other, but they were actually business partners and police later spotted them riding in the same vehicle during a business trip.

Another fraud had a more serious tone and involved a fatal collision between a vehicle and a train.

According to the insurance company, the vehicle driver had a blood-alcohol content that was twice the legal limit, but he told investigators his dead passenger had been the one at the wheel.

A camera in the locomotive eventually proved him wrong.

It resulted in the man's personal injury protection plan benefits being denied based on the involvement of alcohol. The savings to Manitoba Public Insurance premium payers was about $150,000.

The insurer says its special investigations unit probes about 3,000 claims yearly.

The Canadian Press

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