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The Dumbest Insurance Fraud Attempts Ever: #9

August 21st, 2014

Dead Man Caught Speeding

It was a tough time for Raymond Roth, a 47-year-old man from Massapequa, after he was fired from his job as a telecommunications manager for threatening to shoot two supervisors. Tired of working, he came up with a "better" plan for how to financially secure his future. Roth increased the size of his life insurance policy and asked his son, Jonathan, to help him carry out a brilliantly stupid insurance fraud scheme.

Abandoned Shoe by Marian Craig
Abandoned Shoe by Marian Craig

On July 28, 2012, Roth and his son drove to a beach near New York in separate cars. The father left his clothes, wallet, and iPhone (which he wiped clean of all data) on the beach. He took his driver's license in case he got pulled over and drove away. His son then called 911 and reported that his father had disappeared in the unprotected waters off Jones Beach. Jonathan Roth claimed his father went swimming but that he lost track of him while texting. Raymond Roth's disappearance prompted a massive sea and air search involving the local police, firefighters, and coast guard. The disappearance of and search for Raymond Roth even attracted the attention of national media.

However, the authorities called the whole operation off after a few days, when Raymond Roth's brother informed the police that Raymond didn't drown but was safe and sound in Florida. The authorities didn't even have time to check this report, as they received a call from the police in South Carolina informing them that Raymond Roth had just been stopped speeding on Interstate 95, near Santee. Roth told the South Carolina police officers that he was returning to New York to meet with police.

Police trooper wrirting a ticket by woodleywonderwoks
Police trooper wrirting a ticket by woodleywonderwoks

Eventually he made it to New York and admitted himself into a hospital. Roth's lawyer claimed that his client acted irrationally as a result of the stress that he was under after losing his job and the alcohol and medications he was taking. Apparently, he just wanted to disappear and was unaware that his son filed a false insurance claim.

However, his story wasn't very persuasive. He recently increased his life insurance. His wife revealed email communication between him and his son, where Raymond instructed his son to contact him and update him on new developments. He had also withdrawn all of the family money at the time of the disappearance.

The Bottle 45th52 by Alexandre Normand
The Bottle 45th52 by Alexandre Normand

The father and son conspired to cash in more than $400,000 in life insurance policies. Moreover, the air and sea search cost over $30,000. Raymond Roth pleaded guilty and was released on a $100,000 bail. Only hours after being freed, he was arrested again in Freeport on charges that he pretended to be a police officer and tried to accost a woman on a suburban street.

Eventually, Roth was sentenced to between 2.33 and 7 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $36,000 in restitution to the Coast Guard and Nassau County police. His son, who admitted that he was helping with the insurance scam, was sentenced to a year in prison.

The LSM's Take:

If Roth's lawyers claims that he was abusing alcohol and medications were accurate, he may have been disqualified from a traditional life insurance application.

Most life insurance applications also have a question related to jail or criminal convictions, so he also likely disqualified himself from future fully underwritten life insurance plans.


Does Life Insurance Pay Out for Acts of War?

August 20th, 2014
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Photo by Tom HanniganCC BY 2.0

When you buy life insurance, essentially what you receive from your broker is a promise. It's a promise to be there for you and most importantly, your beneficiaries. But when all you see in the news are the terrifying accounts of wars ─ the most recent outbreak in Gaza, it wouldn't be surprising for some of us to doubt this promise.

(Does Life Insurance Pay Out for Acts of War? continued...)

Leslie Beck’s 7 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar

August 18th, 2014
Leslie Beck Headshot
Leslie Beck tells you how to fight Type 2 Diabetes

Leslie Beck is one of Canada's leading nutritionists.

While she still works in private practice as a registered dietitian, you may know her better for her weekly column in The Globe and Mail or her appearances as a nutrition expert on Canada AM. She is the author of 12 books on nutrition and healthy eating including her latest, The Plant-Based Power Diet. She also has consulted for businesses and food companies around the world and has served as a nutritionist for the Canadian International Marathon and the Toronto Raptors.

Obviously, there's no one better to ask when it comes to strategies for lowering your blood sugar if you live with Type 2 Diabetes, something important to us because a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis can greatly impact your insurance rates or even your approval for insurance in general. You could receive a rating, which could give you a rate that's practically double what other policyholders are paying.

However, if you're able to lower your blood sugar and get your diabetes under control, it can do wonders for both your health and your ability to qualify for cheaper insurance.

"When I see people who are pre-diabetic or newly diagnosed with Type 2, ideally I recommend we change the diet to lose weight if they're overweight and see if making lifestyle changes alone will help lower their blood sugar. If that doesn't work, the person's doctor will discuss medication," says Beck.

So if you're trying to make diet and lifestyle changes to help control your blood sugar and halt the effects of Type 2 Diabetes, Leslie Beck recommends seven ways to make that happen:

1. "Lose excess weight" -- Losing weight will help lower your blood glucose levels and reduce your dependence on medication. Losing weight can recover the pancreas's ability to produce insulin and drop insulin resistance in their body. Of course, this is mostly dependent on keeping the weight off.

2. "Exercise regularly" -- "This will help burn excess sugar in the blood," says Beck.  She recommends finding an activity you enjoy and make sure you're raising your heart rate and breaking a sweat at regular intervals. Always consult your doctor and let them know what you plan to do. Always check your blood sugar before and after exercise, so you know when you may need to replenish your energy with a carbohydrate rich snack, such as fruit.

3. "Cut refined carbohydrates"  -- "These are foods with added sugars and white, starchy foods, says Beck. "It's important to lose these foods from your diet because they have what we call a high glycemic index and they spike blood sugar and insulin. You want to choose healthy, low glycemic carbohydrates that don't spike your blood sugar and insulin like quinoa, rice, steel cut oats and some fruit."

(Leslie Beck's 7 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar continued...) | 2 comments

Barry Choi | Budget Travel and Personal Finance Expert

August 18th, 2014


Barry Choi
Budget Travel and Personal Finance Expert at

1. What type of disability insurance do you own?
I currently have a generous short and long term disability insurance plan through my employer.

2. What factors did you consider when determining the coverage amount?
I didn't need to consider anything. After reading my policy and consulting with experts, I felt I had enough coverage. Of course, if I ever change companies I'll need to rethink this.

(Barry Choi | Budget Travel and Personal Finance Expert continued...) | 2 comments

Travelance is Launching New Seniors Emergency Medical Insurance Plan

August 7th, 2014
travelance logo
Travelance is launching their new
Seniors Emergency Medical Insurance Plan

Travelance is a marketer and distributor of travel insurance products that offers a variety of travel insurance plans at affordable prices no matter what your travel plans are including trip cancellation/interruption, trip delay, baggage, air flight accident and more!

Emergency medical insurance plans are available to both visitors to Canada who are ineligible for coverage under Canada’s public health care system and travelling Canadians with a valid government or university health insurance plan (GHIP/UHIP).

The company is releasing effective August 1, 2014, their new Travelance Seniors Emergency Medical Insurance policy. Specially designed "to meet the needs of those aged 50-89 years with a valid Canadian government health insurance plan (GHIP)", this newly revised policy includes many new features as well as upgrades to existing ones.

(Travelance is Launching New Seniors Emergency Medical Insurance Plan continued...) | 4 comments

The Dumbest Insurance Fraud Attempts Ever: #8

August 6th, 2014

Two Men Cut off Mentally Disabled Man's Hand in an Insurance Scam

It is horrifying what some people are capable of through their desire for money. Three men in Cayce, South Carolina, plotted and carried out a gruesome insurance fraud scheme that was based on cutting off one of the accomplices' hand. A 52-year-old mentally disabled man, Michael "Porky" Weaver, let his "friends" Gerald B. Hardin and David Player amputate his hand using a pole saw — a small chainsaw attached to a pole, normally used to remove tree limbs.

Rooftop Shadows by Theo
Rooftop Shadows by Theo
(The Dumbest Insurance Fraud Attempts Ever: #8 continued...) | 3 comments

Life Insurance: An Unselfish Purchase

August 1st, 2014
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Photo by Mish Sukharev / CC BY 2.0

Many people wonder whether they should buy life insurance. To some, it seems like a waste of money. But if you have family members dependent on your income or if you are thinking of having a family, it's really a "no-brainer."

Life Insurance is not like other purchases. It's not about you and your wants. It's about the other people — your family. It's an unselfish act that puts your dependents first and if anything were to happen to you, it ensures that they will be looked after and be able to maintain their standard of living.

(Life Insurance: An Unselfish Purchase continued...) | 2 comments

Insurance Horror Stories: Bill Mantlo, Co-creator of Rocket Raccoon in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

August 1st, 2014

If you've already seen Marvel's latest summer blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, or even if you've just watched the trailer, one thing becomes immediately clear: the scene stealer for the entire movie is an anthropomorphic, trigger-happy raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper.

Rocket Raccoon
Rocket Raccoon

This is Rocket Raccoon, and he was co-created for Marvel Comics in 1976 by writer Bill Mantlo.

In the '70s and '80s, Bill was one of the top writers for Marvel Comics. He could turn out scripts at a breakneck pace, and when everyone else was struggling to make their deadlines, it was Bill who wrote all the fill-in stories that editors put in Marvel's books when the scheduled issues were delayed by the dilly-dallying writers of the time.

(Insurance Horror Stories: Bill Mantlo, Co-creator of Rocket Raccoon in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' continued...)

Alan Whitton a.k.a. Big Cajun Man | The Clown Prince of Financial Blogging

July 31st, 2014


Alan Whitton, AKA The Big Cajun Man
The Clown Prince of Financial Blogging,

1. What type of disability insurance do you own?
I have disability insurance through my work, as a benefit (I pay a premium for it).

2. What factors did you consider when determining the coverage amount?
The coverage amount looked sufficient when I started working, so I have not bought any extra insurance for now.

(Alan Whitton a.k.a. Big Cajun Man | The Clown Prince of Financial Blogging continued...)

Mortgage Insurance Pitfalls

July 31st, 2014
insurance 2
Mortgage Insurance can be dangerous.

If you're an avid reader of the LSM Insurance blog, you know we're not fans of Mortgage Insurance and neither, it turns out, is the Toronto Star's personal finance columnist, Ellen Roseman.

In a recent article titled "Mortgage Insurance Policies May Not Cover Claims," she highlighted the danger of post-claim underwriting. This is when the policyholder has filled out their application and has been diligently paying their monthly premiums, but when they die suddenly, their family discovers they are not entitled to a penny of the death benefit that covers their mortgage because the policyholder's health circumstances had changed and the application is now filled out incorrectly.

(Mortgage Insurance Pitfalls continued...) | 6 comments

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