Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
Keywords: Insurance Fraud, False Information, Claims, Life
A Hong Kong mother who took out two life insurance policies for
her baby was found guilty of one count of fraud and one of
attempted fraud for failing to disclose to the insurers that the
child was also covered by a second policy and giving false
information to the insurers when filling out the claims
The full details are as follows. On 11 December 2007, the
Defendant, Man Choi-wa, gave birth to a baby girl. A month after
– on 16 January 2008, the day she obtained the birth
certificate – she took out a HK$2.5 million life insurance
policy for her baby. On 31 January 2008, she bought a further life
insurance policy for her baby from a second insurer in the sum of
In April that year, the baby girl died when she and the
Defendant were in Mainland China. The Defendant then claimed on the
policies she had taken out with the insurers. The second insurer
paid out HK$2 million under its policy in December 2008, but later
discovered that the Defendant had failed to disclose that the child
was already covered by a second policy. The matter was then
reported to the police.
The Defendant was charged with one count of fraud for the claim
made under the second policy and one count of attempted fraud
against the other insurer. She pleaded not guilty to both
In view of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the case,
the insurer of the second policy and its legal advisors decided to
interview the Defendant and this interview was video recorded. The
trial judge held that the video of the interview was admissible
evidence. He also found the prosecution witnesses to be honest and
truthful. Based on the Defendant's admission in the video that
she lied when filling out the claims questionnaire to prevent the
insurer from further investigating the matter, the judge found her
guilty of the charge of attempted fraud. She was also convicted of
the charge of fraud.
The sentencing hearing has been adjourned to 19 November 2013
while the Defendant is remanded in custody.
As opined by his Honour Judge Lam, utmost good faith is required
when parties enter into insurance contracts. When an insured tries
to conceal material facts relating to a claim from an insurer or
give the insurer false information in making a claim, the insured
runs the risk of committing fraud. While this case is unique and
turns on its facts, the video evidence of the interview proved not
only to be crucial to insurers but to the criminal proceedings as
well, as the evidence therein led to the conviction of the
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This article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
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