OLYMPIA, Washington – Colby D. Getchell, 34, and Jessica C. Getchell, 33, both of Kennewick, pleaded guilty to one count each of attempting to file a false insurance claim, a gross misdemeanor, in Benton County Superior Court on May 31. Each will serve five days on a work crew this month and will and pay $700 in court fees.
The couple was charged in March with one count each of first-degree attempted theft after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit.
According to the investigation, the couple purchased a travel trailer on Sept. 11, 2016. On Sept. 24, the couple bought a Progressive insurance policy and filed a claim for $12,058 the next day, stating a fallen tree limb damaged the trailer’s roof overnight. However, the couple had taken the trailer to the dealer the previous day to get an estimate for the damage that had already occurred. Progressive denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s fraud investigators.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the state Attorney General’s Office 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.