Press release -
Factory fire shows dangerous face of insurance fraud
A company director has admitted starting a fire at his printer supply factory in Dundee, in an attempt to gain £2m compensation from its insurer, Allianz.
The fire occurred on 11 February 2018 in a room storing ink cartridges. Two companies located in the building, Fazteck and Chohan, which were managed by the same family, filed claims for losses totalling just over £2m. However, investigations established the cause of the damage as arson.
Haroon Bashir, a director at both Fazteck and Chohan, pleaded guilty to wilful fire raising and attempted fraud as his case was heard recently at the Dundee Sheriff Court.
Besides establishing naked flames had started the blaze, investigations found CCTV footage from the time of the fire showing Mr Bashir emerging from smoke coming out of the building. And a search of the Fazteck premises recovered policy documents where information on claims pay-outs had been highlighted.
Sentence has been deferred.
James Burge, head of counter fraud at Allianz Commercial, commented: “Thankfully no one was hurt in this case but I cannot stress enough how dangerous fire can be. We are also grateful that the investigations into this arson quickly established the facts, thanks to efficient collaboration between all involved, including loss adjusters and forensic engineers, to assist the police. We hope this case works as a deterrent for other would-be fraudsters.”
About Allianz Holdings plc
Allianz Holdings plc is the non-regulated holding company which owns the principal insurance operations of Allianz SE in Great Britain including Allianz Insurance plc.
About Allianz Group
The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 100 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 790 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.7 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are amongst the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2020, over 150,000 employees achieved total revenues of 140 billion euros and an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros for the group.
*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers
These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.
Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements
This document includes forward-looking statements, such as prospects or expectations, that are based on management's current views and assumptions and subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance figures, or events may differ significantly from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Deviations may arise due to changes in factors including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the general economic and competitive situation in the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) the performance of financial markets (in particular market volatility, liquidity, and credit events), (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, including those resulting from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates, most notably the EUR/USD exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions including and related integration issues and reorganization measures, and (xi) the general competitive conditions that, in each individual case, apply at a local, regional, national, and/or global level. Many of these changes can be exacerbated by terrorist activities.
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