February 28, 2019
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Teri Simpson, 43, of Napavine, was charged in Lewis County Superior Court with second-degree theft in connection with a jewelry claim after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
According to the investigation, Simpson filed a renter’s insurance claim with Grange Insurance in January 2018 for a lost Tiffany charm bracelet, valued at $2,400. Grange paid Simpson $1,320 for the bracelet. Simpson told Kreidler’s detectives that she found the bracelet in her purse five months after she received the payment, but didn’t inform the insurer of the recovery. Simpson’s renter’s insurance policy included language stating that the company must be notified if property is recovered after a claim is settled, and the insured has the option to keep the settlement money or the property, but not both.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with Washington State Patrol and state and local prosecutors on criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. Insurance companies are required by law to report fraud to the commissioner.
Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the insurance commissioner’s website.