Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they do not like to pay claims. Therefore, they will do anything legally in their power to find a way to discredit anyone who makes a claim against them. Sadly, this can sometimes include spying on claimants in hopes of getting information that they can use against the claimant to show that they are lying or that their injuries are not as severe as they have stated them to be. The insurance company hopes that if it can catch you doing something that you have claimed you can’t du
How Do Insurance Companies Spy on People?
There are a few common ways that insurance companies seek information on people who have made claims against them. Here are a few of the most common:
- Social Media Monitoring – One easy way for an insurance company to see if you are doing something you shouldn’t be able to do if your claim is legitimate is to comb through your social media posts. If you are claiming a severe back injury but post a photo of yourself rock climbing on a day after the accident happened, for example, the insurance company is likely to use that to show that your injuries either don’t exist or aren’t as severe as you claim.
- Other Internet Searches—In addition to monitoring social media posts, an insurance company may search the internet for your name in hopes of finding some kind of evidence that they can use against you. Even such small things as reviews of businesses or comments on items listed for sale may contain information that the insurance company hopes will show that you are not as injured as you say you are.
- Passive Surveillance—The insurance company may hire someone or direct one of their employees to follow you and watch what you do, taking notes and possibly photographs that could show you participating in activities that could release them from having to pay your claim.
- Active Surveillance—A hired private investigator or employee of the insurance company could also be asked to interview people in your family, work, or social circles about your activities and statements, hoping to find something that they can use against you in court.
What Would an Insurance Company Hope to Find by Spying?
What the insurance company is hoping for when it spies on a person making a claim is anything that shows that the person is not eligible for payment. This can mean that they find you doing activities that you could not do if your injuries were what you say they are. For example, if an investigator observes and photographs you moving heavy lumber for a home improvement project after you have claimed a debilitating back injury, your claim could be in jeopardy. The insurance company is also looking for reasons that their client is not liable for the accident that you are making a claim for. For example, they might interview a neighbor who says that they heard you say that the accident really was not the other party’s fault.
What Should I Do to Protect My Claim if I’m being Spied on by an Insurance Company?
First and foremost, don’t lie about your injuries or about the other party’s liability. As long as you are honest, you shouldn’t have to worry. At the same time, the insurance company may try to twist innocent actions to their benefit. After an accident, it is good practice to make sure that all social media posts are private and shared with a limited, chosen audience. Also, make sure that others cannot tag you in their posts, and be careful about any comments or statements you make anywhere on the internet. Especially avoid making comments related to your accident or injuries. Even a completely innocent statement to a friend or relative such as “I’m doing OK” could be used against you by an insurance company.