Woman Makes Over $400,000 Buying Insurance on Flights She Predicted Would Get Delayed

A Chinese woman was recently arrested for creating a money-making scheme by purchasing flight delay insurance and then raking in the claims.

Identified only as  Li, the 45-year-old woman from Nanjing reportedly used 20 other identities in addition to her own to take out almost 900 flight delay insurance policies from 2015 to 2019. However, rather than getting on all these planes herself, Li would use her past travel service work experience to select flights she expected to be delayed or cancelled, and then collect the claims. While some sources described her scheme as gambling, some Chinese outlets reported that the woman conducted research before deciding which flights to buy tickets on, checking for extreme weather or other delay-inducing events on flight routes, and consulting user reviews.

Photo: Ethan McArthur/Unsplash

According to The Paper, Li was fully aware that what she was doing was illegal, and she did everything she could to cover her tracks, using the identities of several friends and family when taking out the flight delay policies. However, 900 policies is a lot totaling a whopping 3 million yuan ($423,000) in profits over the course of 4 years didn’t go unnoticed, and in April of this year, the police finally nabbed her.

While the media didn’t specify whether this played a role in her capture, Li reportedly had the habit of trying to cut her losses by requesting a refund of the ticket price on flights that didn’t end up getting delayed or cancelled.

Photo: The Paper

The woman’s arrest was announced by Chinese police on Friday, June 12; Authorities revealed that the 45-year-old had long faked information related to flight delays and scammed large sums of money from insurance companies. An investigation is currently underway.

The Paper reports that Li’s exploits helped insurance companies close some of the loopholes that helped the woman carry out her illegal scheme. Many insurers now have provisions which state, among other things, that compensation may only be paid to people who actually used the booked flight.

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