A Bremerton man was recently charged in Kitsap County District Court with one count of filing a false insurance claim on his renter’s insurance policy after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigation Unit.
According to the investigation, William Collick’s apartment building caught fire on Feb. 12, caused by an electrical transformer near the building. After reporting the blaze to 911 at 1:17 a.m. and identifying himself as a police officer at the nearby Naval base, Collick bought a renter’s insurance policy from State Farm at 2:09 a.m.
Two days later, Collick filed a claim for the damage to his belongings and for approximately $1,000 in additional living expenses to help pay for different accommodations, as the entire building was “uninhabitable” after the fire.
In Collick’s claim, he stated the fire occurred on Feb. 12 at 4:15 a.m. State Farm notified Collick that the claim was being reviewed to determine if it would be covered based on the timeline of events, the release states. Collick told State Farm in March that he wanted to withdraw the claim. State Farm closed the case and referred it to Kreidler’s CIU.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the Washington State Patrol as well as 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.