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Flagging fraudulent certificates of insurance

January 16, 2018
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Spot seven signs of fraud and safeguard your organization

A subcontractor forged a certificate of insurance to obtain work recently from a Denver construction company. Putting aside the familiar hammer and nails, he used paper, tape and whiteout to complete the task.

The subcontractor’s first photocopy revealed telltale lines where he’d taped his own information and a new date onto the certificate. So he applied whiteout to the lines and continued to print copies until he generated a certificate he thought would pass scrutiny.

But the savvy general manager of the construction contractor company brought the suspicious-looking certificate to the attention of the company’s insurance agent, who contacted Pinnacol. Following an inquiry by our Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the subcontractor pleaded guilty to forgery – a felony – and was sentenced to jail and three years of probation.

Without valid certificates of insurance, your company and Pinnacol could be on the hook for injuries to subcontractors. So, it’s wise to be vigilant and watch for fraud.

Identify the signs of a fraudulent certificate

Test your skills and see if you can spot the seven real examples of fraud on this sample certificate. Don't forget to check page 2 to see how you did.

What you can do

When a worker provides a fraudulent certificate of insurance, he or she commits a serious offense. It’s a class 5 felony and a violation of the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. Worse still, your organization could be liable for the worker’s injuries. If you suspect a fraudulent certificate:

  • Contact both your agent and the workers’ compensation carrier listed on the document.
  • If Pinnacol is the carrier, call your claims representative or our SIU team at 303.361.4000 to report the fraud.

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