For Consumers

Spokane man charged in faking water damage claim

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September 12, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Ivan Kriger, of Spokane, was charged in Spokane County Superior Court with attempted first-degree theft and presenting a false claim for insurance purposes after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).

According to the investigation, Kriger filed a claim exceeding $18,800 with Grange Insurance for water damage to a house he owned and was renovating. He said the pipes froze in the kitchen in January 2018 and caused damage that he documented with photos. 

Grange found the City of Spokane had declared the property a nuisance in 2017, before Kriger purchased it. The water to the house was shut off in September 2017 and the water meter reading had not changed as of the date of the claim. An inspector found old water damage and mold, but nothing that indicated a water pipe freeze and subsequent leak. Additionally, the metadata on the photos showed they were taken before the date Kriger said the damage happened. 

Grange denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU. 

Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the 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.