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  • Dean Smith

Summer Months Bring Endless Activity

An article in Claims Journal by Jonathan Tilove examines Mark Avery, a private investigator in New Orleans who came up with the term “Mardi Gras syndrome.” According to Avery, it is characterized by “an excessive urge to drink heavily, a desire to attend numerous outdoor events such as parades, and, in some claimants, the ability to perform physical acts their doctors, and certainly their attorneys, never thought humanly possible (carrying people on their shoulders, running, jumping, twisting and lunging for beads, standing for extended periods of time, etc.).”

In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, the time period that “Mardi Gras Syndrome” surfaces is during the hot, summer season. And the location happens to be around the shore points instead of New Orleans. Think of all the holidays packed into this four month span. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekends, among countless, random weekends that people decide to vacation, are prime stomping grounds for our surveillance investigators to catch fraudulent claims, as well as using our Internet Profile Report to monitor social media accounts. Parades, celebrations, and the amount of drinking festivities that surround these holidays and scorching, summer weekends will without a doubt produce the results you desire.

Some examples of these imperative slip-ups include:

  1. Putting children on shoulders

  2. Carrying heavy coolers

  3. Walking/biking/jogging miles of boardwalk

  4. Towing excessive beach equipment (umbrellas, toys, chairs, overstuffed beach bags) down crowded beaches

  5. Lifting, carrying, and loading hefty luggage in/out of a vehicle and to/from home

  6. Drinking to excess, causing slips, falls and “injuries,” doing drugs (which may help in proving the character of the individual).

The summer months also bring activity that has nothing to do with celebrating, but with summer preparation or renovations to their home. Examples:

  1. Opening pools

  2. Fixing fences

  3. Lawn/shrub/tree trimming and care

  4. Painting

  5. Power washing

These next few months is prime time for catching those committing insurance fraud, and there will be plenty of cover for the investigators. With the amount of tourists and people trying to document the activities going on around them, taking video/pictures is a common occurrence, and in turn will not raise suspicion.

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