An Auto Insurer's Worst Nightmare?
Follow the money
I am going to address a hypothetical: 100% of all auto theft claims denied. Only 5% contested, leaving 95% of auto theft claim denials to be uncontested. Multiply time all the auto carriers in the USA all with varying claims value over $3k. How much money does the SIU save their employers every year in what appear to be fraudulent claims that may not be, but the element of deception was deplyed by the se of the forensic locksmith. What is the figure saved? Millions? Billions? Then multiply times 15 years and wat would the unimaginable figure be?
For over a decade I have advocated to SIUs (Special Investigation Units) not to build their cases on a false premise used as an investigation tool known as the forensic locksmith. In most cases it was to deaf ears and possibly they looked at it as one competitor bad mouthing another competitor. I really don't know why these investigators would stand by the defense of the forensic locksmith. Possibly they had a friendship with them from years of working with them.
Even though I pointed it out on many occasions, the forensic locksmith was not my competitor, but the opposing expert, that commonly did not prevail against our side in court. Evidently, what was not realized was that my attacks were rarely on a personal level because I did not in many cases, know these guys on a personal level. In fact some I had never met, and those I did, may have been in a court case environment.
The forensic locksmith industry has conspired as well as colluding with their client insurance defense attorneys to shut me down. Not only to put me out of business, but to terminate my existence with no way of supporting myself. In fact, I have time lines with the players stretching from Maine to California, up to Washington state to Florida. What has been done to stop me is absolutely amazing and could make a movie. In fact, my book that is about to be published addresses this.
It is one thing for me to attack these forensic locksmiths calling them corrupt, deceitful, misrepresentative on fact and fraudulent. By doing such, it makes me look small and hateful.
However, what if I could prove this to be a fact? How could I possibly do that? With their own words!
When auto theft cases settle, it is more or less under the cover of darkness, so that case cannot be used as a president. The insured signs a non-disclosure agreement where the case is not to be discussed.
In the situation that the case is tried in court, it is a single case that can't be related to anything, so win r lose unless it is a published case (I have over 10 published cases), the case cannot be used for a precedent.
The SIU will tell you that they do not deny the claim on the forensic report and this is sort of true. However, if they did not have an expert conclude that the reported stolen vehicle was last driven with the key of the proper type inferring the insured's key, the investigator would not know if the vehicle was stolen or not, and in many cases requiring the theft claim to be paid.
The SIU will state the forensic locksmith report is just a tool they used combined with other facts that illustrate insured involvement in the claim. Of course many of the facts they use known as fraud indicators are subjective baseless generalities made to appear as fact.
The forensic locksmith report is used as the "smoking gun" to indicate thee was no doubt that the insured was involved in the fraudulent claim. However, if there s fraud in their fraud investigation, it taints the claim compromising the investigation process as being factual and unbiased. The forensic locksmith report opinions and conclusions go far past one man's opinion against another. We have enough evidence on a majority of these experts nationwide to illustrate at minimum they are guilty of consumer fraud, going as far as perjury and defrauding the courts. This is very serious folks!
This is not about Rob Painter or what Rob Painter has to say. This is about blatant deceit facilitated by the use of a forensic title and ignorance on the subjects of locks, keys, forensic and auto theft. I am merely the messenger.
The question now, is how are these charges against the forensic locksmith proven beyond preponderance to the threshold clear and convincing evidence? With the forensic locksmith's own words and their own writings!
One vehicle examination report stands on its own with no way of comparing to other previous reports authored by the same forensic expert. However, what if the report at hand could be compared to five or more as to the methodologies employed? It is quite common in this comparison to see steps skipped in some vehicles and steps added in others, yet the one common denominator not matter what is the same identical conclusion of the vehicle last being driven with a key of the proper type. How is this possible if being hailed under the vale of scientific? It's not and that is the point! Key of the proper type is the predetermined conclusion and everything else is smoke and mirrors to make it appear as though some type of technical expertise was employed.
Yes, the charges are outrageous, but not as outrageous compared to the number of lives insurance companies have ruined under the ruse of keeping our rates down to combat fraud.
Since there are those that try to apply logical to illogical situations such as auto theft and fraud, here is a question:
Why if someone knowiningly submitted a fraudulent claim pay me or an attorney thousands of dollars to refute such a denial? That too, makes absolutely no sense! Of course the argument could be made that the insured doesn't have to pay any up front costs with an attorney taking a case on contingency. However, I like many attorneys do not work contingency.
Wouldn't it be consdered that the insured was wrongly accused? All the so called financial implications of being in dire straits would not apply then would they?
I will lay out just a couple of examples: A reported stolen vehicle is recovered. The forensic locksmith is assigned to perform an ignition examination and determine if the ant theft system was functioning. At the vehicle, the expert may insert the insured's key (altering the internal evidence of the lock). He will then peer inside the lock key way with a lighted magnified scope. He may then "clean" with penetrating oil which is an abrasive and inserting the key causes all the internal dust, dirt and debris to scrape the soft brass or aluminum wafers (tumblers). He can't take photos of the ignition components and we are just supposed to take his word on the marks in the lock he did or did not see. He leaves the ignition with the vehicle, which can be further damaged or altered and did not take it with him in the event he is opposed and requested to supply the evidence for peer review testing. In other words, the insurance company is using a conclusion based strictly on their subjective conclusion, and is willing to testify on evidence he simply does not have.
It is pretty hard for an insured to fight an accusation from an insurance company forensic expert, when the insured can't have their own expert confirm or deny based n the ignition evidence that no longer exists.
The next procedure is to use a 1990's application applied in a Ford transponder case with Ford parameters (Los Angeles Case Greines v Ford illustrating that one wire could successfully defeat the transponder system. Ford engineers stated to test if the transponder system was working, aluminum foil was to be placed over head of key. In this case, aluminum foil was placed over head of key and with the transponder bypassed, the engine would start). This is the use of aluminum foil to block the transponder signal from the key. The test is to start the engine with the insured's key applied to all vehicles (not just the 1998 Ford Ranger the test was applicable to) all the way to 2014. Then to put foil on the head of the key. If the vehicle does not start, according to the expert, the transponder system is working. This in their view makes the vehicle unstealable without the use of the "proper" key.
Let's go to another report by the same expert: He may check the transponder system with a key programmer. The key programmer in most cases will determine if the transponder system was functioning correctly. The key programmer in most cases will also display the number of keys coded that will start the engine. If the insured supplies two keys and a third key is programmed, one needs to attempt to account for that missing key.
Examination 3 by the same expert. The ignition lock is removed, disassembled, and the wafers (tumblers) are placed under a microscope at 10x-30x magnification looking for identifiable tool marks consistent with the insured supplied keys. Micro photos are taken reflecting such tool marks fro the keys as compared to he wafers.
Examination 4 Vehicle s recovered a total burn. Sometimes if ignition components dropped to the floor during the fire they are gathered. Microscopic pictures of these wafers have been tried to be presented in court for the "wow" factor, but the burned crust (similar to what happens to a cookie pan when you burn cookies) is not removed, and obviously, tool marks under that crust can't be observed, but the forensic locksmith has made people believe when not questioned!
Since the vehicle is in its burned state and the computer and all associated wiring is destroyed by fire, the transponder system can not be tested as in the examples above. Instead, the forensic locksmith goes o plan "B." Plan B is to take the description and operation theory from a service manual related to the transponder system and install these details in the report, giving the reader the full understanding that the sophisticated anti theft system makes he vehicle "unstealable."
Examination 5 Vehicle is recovered in a body of water such as a river or a canal. Again, because water has permeated the computer, the anti theft system cannot be interrogated electronically or the aluminum foil test won't be amicable. Instead, plan B is enacted one again.
Examination number 6 Reported stolen vehicle not recovered and the only option for the forensic locksmith is to perform a key examination in order to determine if a key was used as a guide to duplicate a key, similar to that done in a hardware store. It really does not matter if there are or are not such marks on the key, because the forensic locksmith knows that keys can be made from code without the use of one of the insured's keys, however he doesn't address that fact.
The forensic locksmith's job description is to examine not only the keys, but the ignition as well as the anti theft system. Since the vehicle, ignition and anti theft system can't be examined because the vehicle was never recovered, how can only one piece of evidence be cherry picked?
Here is the smoking gun illustrating the corruption on level so high that totally bring down any auto theft investigation--These examples are reflective of the same forensic locksmith performing the examination of the vehicle at any given hour any given day by all forensic locksmiths across the nation! What is problematic is that each and every report of the vehicle has the same conclusion! The vehicle was last driven with a key of the correct type, the proper type or words that infer the insured's key was the last used!
What is being done here is accusing the insured based on the credibility of the highly questionable "forensic" title used! I have their reports that can be used to compare to the examination report at hand!
Then the question for plaintiff attorneys to use is: Which examination procedure do we believe? In other words, which report did you lie on?
What SIU must realize: I am not out to ruin their investigations, although this is collateral damage I can't help. I am as anti fraud as the next person, and if they feel they have caught an insured for misrepresentation in an auto theft claim, I will be more than glad to assist them.
Currently though, the deck of cards is stacked against the insured. These are highly questionable experts examining the vehicle under the cover of darkness who have a vested interest in the outcome of the claim. Cover of darkness is rhetorical, and what I mean is that these examinations are performed secretly without the insured or their own expert being present during the destructive examination of ignition components (evidence).
The carrier could come back an say: "We didn't know we were being defrauded by the forensic locksmith." Well, that really does not work either because of due diligence and their vendor vetting process is highly insufficient! Better yet, I have case law on many carriers that got slapped with bad faith punitive verdicts as well.
One might think, it's only money and no big deal. It's a big deal for insured's that have been marked for life by being charged and convicted of fraud by their insurance company with no due process! If denied for misrepresentation, the insured's name is listed forever as being guilty of committing insurance fraud on a secret database accessible to all insurance companies. It does not even matter if the insured is exonerated in a court. The insured's name is nit taken from that list. The bell has rung!
What is more irreprehensible is prosecutors holding out the forensic locksmith out to the court as a star witness testifying that the reported stolen and recovered burned vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type. Warning to all prosecutors that used the testimony of a of a forensic locksmith stating a burned reported stolen vehicle was last driven with a key of the proper type, I will vigorously oppose you and expose your expert as to how reliable his conclusions are!
Key of the proper type--idiots! (directed to anyone believing this is a specific insured's key)
You insert your key in the ignition. You start the engine. Next go to a hardware store or dealer, whoever can duplicate your transponder key. You now insert the newly made key (finely buffed having no burrs where the ignition will turn freely) into the ignition.
Now, my question to you is which is the last key used? You will probably say the duplicate because it was the last key you put in the ignition. The correct answer however is that both keys are of the proper type and either one could have been used.
Since there was no scientific process combined with an error rate and accepted published peer reviewed and accepted procedures to fall back on in the name of science, the specific last key used cannot be determined and that is the purpose of generalities being applied as a fact.
Was the last key used the insured's? If so, which one? Was it an unaccounted for key in the case of a used vehicle purchased with only one key? Was it a thief's key? Was it a cloned key and the list of specific keys goes on. Was the vehicle even driven from the theft scene?
We also have a locksmith from Ohio who actively works for Progressive and other carriers, that while serving a locksmith, has been called out on lock outs. This is where the insured locked their keys in the vehicle. The locksmith is required to perform surreptitious entry doing no damage to the vehicle. Yet, when serving a forensic locksmith for the insurance company, he will state he observed no signs of forced entry!
He also has a standard far different than court requirements. Normally, even though not performed, the forensic locksmith will state in his report that the conclusions and opinions are based on a reasonable degree of scientific certainty. Not this guy! His opinions and conclusions are based on a reasonable degree of locksmithing certainty.
An expert in Chicago admits in his reports he performs destructive testing to the ignition lock. (Of course without insured's authorization or knowledge)
The point being is this is the real reason have been such a threat to the industry and defense attorneys trying to defend these indefensible cases.
After 18 years of being a punching bag for opposing defense attorneys in order to lie by slander and libel under immunity of an active court case to a judge, I am retired. The ext phase is to serve client attorneys as an un-named consultant, supplying reports previously authored by forensic locksmiths in other vehicle exams.
Serving under Power of Attorney, I will continue to advise insureds on how to honestly answer questions through the investigation and EUO and will defend them in a denial on their auto theft claim.
I no longer have to accuse the forensic locksmith of fraud. I will let him demonstrate with his own words and writings that they are not being honest in their conclusions.
State Farm in the southern states employs a forensic locksmith out of Indiana and Canadian insurers employ a forensic locksmith based in California to author reports based on key examinations without the vehicle being recovered.
It is my opinion that because this cancer has been so rampant, every case involving a forensic locksmith and an auto theft that was denied and lost, should be appealed! All open denials that have not been litigated should be and all cases going back as far as the state statutes allow across the nation should be up in question. It is my opinion that lawyers should not be looking at these cases from the perspective of the value of the claim, but address all these cases as the bad faith situation they are when the forensic locksmith opined on how the vehicle was last driven.
Insured's and attorneys, I can be contacted at 1-866-490-1673
©Copyright 2014 Rob Painter. All rights reserved.