This article was taken from: PropertyCasualty360.com
“Everything is not “coming up roses” for a Fontana, Calif. man who is facing workers’ compensation fraud and perjury charges.
Fifty-four-year-old Jose Cortez formerly earned a living as a gardener until Oct. 2010, when a large tree branch fell and landed on him during his shift for L. Barrios & Associates Landscaping. Cortez was then transported to a local hospital and sent home with “minor work restrictions.”
Although Cortez claimed the injuries sustained that day prevented him from completing his customary work duties, at least one person was not convinced. The following year, a tip aroused enough suspicion to initiate video surveillance of Cortez. During the course of the probe, insurance investigators observed Cortez carrying on as if it were business as usual. In fact, investigators documented at least six separate occasions when they saw him performing his normal duties as a gardener without any obvious signs of discomfort.
In Sept. 2012, investigators from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit conducted a thorough criminal investigation, collecting surveillance footage allegedly incriminating Cortez, who was still collecting insurance benefits at the time.
“Mr. Cortez had previously stated that he was unable to perform the full range of his duties,” said Deputy District Attorney Scott Byrd, who is assigned to the case. “However, our investigation revealed that he had misrepresented the extent of his injuries and received more compensation than [to which] he was entitled.”
On Jan. 21, the prosecution filed criminal charges against Cortez, resulting in a felony arrest warrant being issued. Cortez was taken into custody outside his residence without incident by District Attorney Investigators. He was then transported and booked at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s West Valley Detention Center. On Jan. 22, Cortez entered a plea of “not guilty” in San Bernardino Superior Court.
If convicted as charged, Cortez could enter a system far different from workers’ compensation—namely prison, where he could serve as many as eight years.
“This type of fraud is harmful because it causes premiums that businesses have to pay to go higher,” Byrd says. “It drains business profits, which in turn costs honest workers money in raises or other benefits that they may have been eligible to receive.”
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Agriculture Insurance is purchased by agricultural producers, including farmers, ranchers, and others to protect themselves against either the loss of their crops due to natural disasters, such as hail, drought, and floods, or the loss of revenue due to declines in the prices of agricultural commodities. The two general categories of crop insurance are called crop-yield insurance and crop-revenue insurance.
Crop-hail insurance is generally available from private insurers (in countries with private sectors) because hail is a narrow peril that occurs in a limited place and its accumulated losses tend not to overwhelm the capital reserves of private insurers. The earliest crop-hail programs were begun by farmer’s cooperatives in France and Germany in the 1820s.
Multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) covers the broad perils of drought, flood, insects, disease, etc., which may affect many insureds at the same time and present the insurer with excessive losses. To make this class of insurance, the perils are often bundled together in a single policy, called a multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) policy. MPCI coverage is usually offered by a government insurer and premiums are usually partially subsidized by the government. The earliest MPCI program was first implemented by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1938. The FCIC program has been managed by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), also a U.S. Department of Agriculture agency, since 1996.
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It’s Friday and Scurich Insurance Services would like to help you unwind for the weekend with this week’s joke of the week.
An insurance sales rep, an administration clerk and their manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.
They rub it and a genie comes out in a puff of smoke. The Genie says, “I usually only grant three wishes, so I´ll give each of you just one.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.” Poof! She´s gone.
In astonishment, “Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.” Poof! He´s gone.
“OK, you´re up,” the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”
Moral of story: always let your boss have the first say.