Guilty Plea in Arkansas U-Haul Rental Insurance Scam

A Jonesboro, Ark., woman has been sentenced to five years’ probation, court costs and restitution after pleading guilty to her role in a staged automobile accident in 2014 involving a U-Haul rental.

Jennifer Haggins, 31, entered a plea of guilty to one count of Fraudulent Insurance Acts (D felony) and one count of Criminal Mischief (D felony) on June 29 in Craighead County Circuit Court.

On May 24, 2014, Haggins rented a truck from the U-Haul store located at 1700 Red Wolf Drive in Jonesboro, purchasing the extra insurance offered on the U-Haul during the rental process, according to the Arkansas Insurance Department.

Haggins was involved in an automobile accident with another vehicle. The accident resulted in damage to both vehicles in the combined amount of $4,554.35.

On the same day, she filed an insurance claim alleging bodily injury as a result of the accident. Upon investigation, it was found that the accident was staged.

According to Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr, using a commercial rental vehicle to stage an accident is becoming more common. It “may seem like a victimless crime, but it puts all Arkansas motorists in danger and penalizes all of us through higher insurance premiums. The Arkansas Insurance Department will continue to crackdown on this type of fraud,” Kerr said in a statement released by the insurance department.

Haggins was sentenced to five years of probation, court costs of $540, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,554.35 at the rate of $100 per month.

Kerr reminds Arkansans that Act 695 of 2017 extends the statute of limitations for insurance fraud (Class D felony) involving a motor vehicle purposely used to cause and accident to five years from the previous three years.

Source: Arkansas Insurance Department

Article source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2017/06/30/456349.htm