Insurance firm seeks NT$64 mil. returned after wife's 2nd death
By Ted Chen, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Taiwanese man will soon be extradited from mainland China over insurance fraud committed with his late wife, rekindling the hope for a local insurer to retrieve NT$64 million from a fraudulent death claim.
October 25, 2013, 12:27 am TWN
The fraud was discovered recently after the man's wife apparently died of a heart attack. This was the second time that her death had been claimed, with the first time occurring in the wake of Typhoon Toraji.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Thursday said that the three children of Mr. and Mrs. Hsu managed to file for compensation of NT$64 million from their insurer, Cathay Life Insurance (國泰人壽).
The CIB yesterday said that Cathay Life can file an appeal based on the new findings after the fraud committed by the Hsu couple is confirmed.
In 2001 a married couple surnamed Hsu (許), of New Taipei City, appeared to have perished after their vehicle tumbled off a cliff on a coastal road as Typhoon Toraji made its way through Taiwan. The couple was reportedly on their way to Yilan. Following the purported deaths of the couple, their three children filed for insurance claims and received payouts in excess of NT$64 million from Cathay Life Insurance. Most notably, the Hsu couple's three children filed for a high profile public exhortation urging the company to pay up as soon as possible upon receiving legal presumption of death for their parents.
The insurance carrier later reneged on the decision, but its appeal to the courts to retract the payouts was denied. The company asserted that weather conditions on the day of the incident could not have caused their car to tumble off the cliff, and attempted to have the legal declaration of death retracted. According to the insurance company, the deaths of the couple remain uncertain, as no corpses were recovered from the wreckage and surrounding areas. Furthermore, the company suspects insurance fraud, citing the fact that the couple and their three children were found to be heavily in debt. However, citing the lack of evidence on claims asserted by the company, the court ruled in favor of the Hsu family.
In the first and second ruling, the courts deemed that despite the lack of corpses it cannot rule out the possibility that the couple did die that day, as they may have been hurled to the surrounding rocks, or drowned in the sea as their vehicle tumbled off the cliffside road.
Working with mainland Chinese police, the CIB said that the truth was uncovered due to incriminating evidence suggesting that the couple did not die in 2001. According to reports, the couple fled to China, and has been living Suzhou. In May, the wife died of a sudden heart attack and the husband's forged identifications failed to fool investigating police officers in China.