New Zealand News

Woman in New Zealand buries car, reports it stolen, and makes fraudulent insurance claim

A woman in New Zealand buried her damaged car, reported it stolen, and then made an insurance claim for $24,000. Amanda Coltman, 47, was sentenced in Nelson District Court after pleading guilty to obtaining by deception. The incident began in January 2022 when Coltman and her associate were driving from Blenheim to Nelson. The driver, who had been drinking, crashed the car, which suffered significant damage. Despite this, they managed to get the car back to Coltman’s address.

Coltman was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to claim insurance for the damage because the driver didn’t have a full license. She contacted an associate to find someone who could dispose of the car. Later, she left the car outside the associate’s house and reported it stolen months later. Surprisingly, her insurance provider, AA Insurance, agreed to increase the insured amount upon her request.

Police received information and discovered that the car had been buried at an address outside Wakefield. It had been stripped for parts, with only the shell remaining. When questioned by the police, Coltman admitted to making a “stupid decision” out of panic. Her lawyer stated that she had no prior convictions and that her actions were out of character. Coltman had attempted to repay $8,000 to the insurance company, but there was an issue with the payment not being coded correctly.

In court, Judge Tony Zohrab described Coltman’s behavior as “foolish conduct” and acknowledged that it was out of character for her. He ordered her to pay $25,985 in reparation and complete 180 hours of community work. The judge emphasized the need for punishment to deter others from engaging in similar fraudulent activities that could lead to increased insurance premiums for everyone.

The case highlights the importance of honesty and integrity when making insurance claims. Insurance providers rely on their customers’ trust to accurately report incidents and assess the validity of claims. Instances of deception, like burying a car and falsely reporting it stolen, undermine the integrity of the insurance system and can have financial consequences for both providers and policyholders.

Luke Chapman

Luke is an experienced writer from Brisbane. He worked for several publications in Sydney for a couple of years and then moved to work in several countries around Asia. He temporarily worked as a geography teacher in an international school in Bangkok and now he is a regular contributor for The Thaiger covering mainly Australian and New Zealand news.