Insurance Surveillance: Why Insurers Do It And Why It Can Be Dangerous For You - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 13 January 2022

Insurance Surveillance: Why Insurers Do It And Why It Can Be Dangerous For You

Insurance surveillance is when the insurance firm hires somebody to follow their client while also videotaping their activities. The purpose of this is to know whether you’re telling the truth in your insurance claims. So, if you recently filed a disability claim,  there’s a very high chance that private investigators placed you under close scrutiny. 

This can happen at any time. When you feel like someone new is lurking in your neighbourhood, or if you feel like someone has been looking over your history, chances are, you’re being surveilled. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry. Panicking will only lead to mistakes. Instead, accept that you’re being checked on and be mindful of your actions. 

Insurance Surveillance Explained

Disability insurance surveillance refers to what insurance firms do to check whether your claims are valid. Insurance firms can use the information they gathered during surveillance to determine the extent of the claimant’s injuries. Say, for instance, while working, you got injured, and you filed a disability claim. The organization where you filed your claim could legally conduct surveillance to see if you are physically restricted as provided in your claim. 

Insurance surveillance could go as far as photographing, videoing, or hiring a private investigator to check on you and your daily activities. They could also check your social media accounts for posts or photos that may contradict your claims. If conducted by a licensed insurance surveillance professional, this act is entirely permitted. 

While, in some cases, insurance surveillance is acceptable and legal, it can also be dangerous for the following reasons: 

  • Trespassing: These investigators are very discreet about how they do things, so you wouldn’t know if their way of gathering information is still legal. They might end up lurking in your property and gathering intel in an unethical manner. 
  • Access confidential or classified information: Again, since there’s no way for you to check how they gather information about you, they might retrieve them from highly classified sources. While the information collected may be accurate, they are still unethically sourced. Hence, the insurance firm shouldn’t use it against you. 
  • Spying as a fishing exercise: Stopping a fraudulent claim is a noble purpose. However, there would be instances wherein the act of surveilling someone becomes a fishing expedition. There might be no issue at all, but because of the goal to have the claimant drop the claim, the investigator would end up blowing one small fact to make it into a justifiable issue. 

The danger of surveillance lies in the possibility of getting a legitimate claim dropped just because of a misunderstood fact. To ensure that your claims are protected, consult with the lawyers at Diamond and Diamond Law

Insurance Surveillance Techniques

Insurance firms employ different tactics when doing surveillance work. But most of these insurance surveillance techniques fall under these categories.

Editing traffic camera footage and closed caption videos

This is quite common when you allege that you’re entitled to damages. The surveillance expert will go out of their way to gather camera footage, paste them, add captions, and paint the picture they want to see. This is to make it look like you wrongfully filed a claim. 

Hiring private investigators

Some insurance firms go as far as hiring private investigators to follow the claimant wherever they go. For example, you filed a disability claim stating that you’re immobile; hence, you are entitled to compensation. To prove whether you’re telling the truth about your immobility, the insurance firm could send private investigators to visit your property. 

Conducting background checks

It’s also common for insurance firms to check the claimant’s job, relationships, whereabouts, and anything else about the claimant’s background. Here, they’re trying to establish the claimant’s credibility as they would like to know if they’re capable of defrauding someone. 

Checking previous offences

Some insurance firms could go as far as checking your history, looking at your past to establish a fact. An example of this would be gathering information about your criminal records to disprove a present claim. While this is a justifiable act at times, it could also be dangerous when abused because it could be used to force people to drop legitimate claims. 

Stalking social media accounts

A classic example of this tactic is checking your posts and photos on social media to see if you’re telling the truth. For instance, you filed a claim because you’re immobile. However, in your Facebook account, you posted that you’re feeling fine and you’re ready to tour around town. Your post runs counter to your claim that you’re immobile. Unfortunately, your insurer can use this post to deny your claim. 

Talking to people close to you

Another way of gathering information about you is to talk to people you’re close with. These investigators will try to gather facts from the people who know your whereabouts. They will use this information to deny or approve your claim.

Protecting Yourself from Insurance Surveillance

The rule is when you have nothing to hide, you will never be afraid of anything. However, this is not applicable when it comes to insurance surveillance. Some insurers and private investigators gather data in an unethical manner and even make up stories to disprove your claim. This is why you have to be vigilant when dealing with these people.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself: 

Assume they are placing you under surveillance.

You can prepare better and be more conscious of your actions if you already assume that someone is surveilling you ahead of time. When you know someone’s watching, you become more mindful of your actions. And when you’re aware, you can evade misunderstandings and situations that insurance firms can construe against you. 

Be mindful of your actions.  

When you’re careful about how you act, it’s hard to find faults and reasons to doubt your character and claim. So, since you already assumed that someone is constantly checking on you, make a conscious effort to act accordingly. 

Be careful of what you post.

Since you already know that these private investigators could also be looking into your social media accounts, be mindful of what you share. When claiming that you are sick or injured, don’t act as if you’re all well and ready to party. Chances are, they will take the slightest mistake as proof that you’re lying. 

Do not be intimidated.

Let them watch, but don’t let them bother you and cause you to panic. Act naturally yet accordingly. Don’t give them reasons to doubt what you stated in your claim.

If you need help in dealing with annoying investigators and invoking insurance surveillance laws, talk to the lawyers at Diamond and Diamond Law. They know how to deal with these individuals and institutions. 

How to Resolve an Insurance Claim Dispute 

Communicate with your insurer.

Since you entered into a contract with your insurer, the first people you need to get in touch with when you have questions about the premiums and claims is the insurance company. Ask them to explain things to you to avoid confusion.

Contact your designated Ombudsperson or Complaints Liaison Officer.

Every insurance firm has specific processes to follow when processing claims. Most of the time, your account will be assigned to a designated Ombudsperson or Complaints Liaison Officer. To get information about your account and claims, get in touch with them. 

Take advantage of the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO).

If your insurer couldn’t resolve the issue, the next step is to escalate your concerns through the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO). The GIO is a regional, independent insurance dispute resolution system. They can help address your problem. 

Let the expert lawyers from Diamond and Diamond guide you on your next steps when experiencing insurance surveillance.

Pro Tip

“When you’re cut off from your long-term disability benefit because of insurance surveillance, stay calm and contact your lawyer immediately.”

– Diamond & Diamond

Diamond & Diamond and Insurance Surveillance

Private investigators and insurance firms conducting surveillance may be intimidating, but they can’t do you harm if you know how to handle them. 

If you need help handling these investigators or have legal issues related to insurance and insurance surveillance, get in touch with the seasoned lawyers of Diamond and Diamond Law. They have been helping claimants and insurance firms for years now, so you can trust that they can represent your case well. Talk to them directly and get a free case evaluation

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