Insurance Companies May Hire People to Follow You
Insurance companies send investigators to different cases. They can contract with private investigators or hire their own. Regardless of who they use, their goal is the same; to try to catch you in the act of doing something that they can use to reduce your financial recovery. We have known these companies to do or say anything that they have to pay as little as possible. In some cases, they go after the claimant themselves, either by undercutting their credibility or disputing their damages. Insurance companies are also concerned about potential insurance fraud. While most personal injury claimants are accident victims who need the money, insurance fraud does take place. Accordingly, insurance companies feel the need to further investigate some claims because they suspect fraud. There can be specific reasons why they have honed in on you.
Insurance Companies Devote Time and Resources to SurveillanceInsurance companies will spend thousands of dollars to tail claimants for as long as a week. This surveillance can be around-the-clock, just like in the movies. Cars can be parked outside your home out of view or follow you as soon as you leave your home. These investigators are good at what they do, so you will probably not outwit them. Insurance companies can follow you at any point during your claim. If your case drags on for a year or two, their investigators may watch you at any time. Although they will not follow you the whole time, you should always act as if they are watching you because they can follow you at any time.
Insurance Companies May Use Surveillance in Personal Injury ClaimsMost often, insurance companies will order surveillance in disability claims when the basis of your case is that you can no longer work. However, a personal injury claim can pay you for your inability to work. If you are early in your career or have a high-paying job, these damages can be the bulk of your claim. The insurance company investigators are not amateurs by any means. They are private investigators with experience who know what they are doing. These people have expensive and sophisticated spy gear that they are using on you. Again, it is entirely legal for insurance companies to surveil you. How far they can go depends on state law.
Tactics that Insurance Companies Use to Get InformationInsurance investigators will watch you. They will look through whatever parts of your social media that they can access to get an idea of the life that you are living when you file the claim. They are not beneath hiring someone to physically follow you during your claim to see what you are doing. Their only limit is that they cannot enter or look into your home. Other than that, everything else is fair game. These investigators will undoubtedly perform a Google search on you. They can see the publicly available information that anyone can view, including news articles and comments that you may leave in chat groups and forums like Reddit. While there are rules about what these investigators can and cannot do, you should not expect that they will follow them. Some unscrupulous investigators have used shady and dishonest tactics to discredit your claim, seeking to impress their insurance company bosses. No matter how they obtained the information, you can count on the insurance company being more than happy to use it against you if it can save them money. Even if a state limits insurance company surveillance under anti-stalking laws, there are still plenty of things that investigators can do to find information. Following you is just one of the many things that insurance companies can do.
Insurance Companies Can Use Surveillance to Undercut Your DamagesOnce you have proven your entitlement to damages, you will begin trying to negotiate a settlement agreement. When you file a claim, you have also outlined the damages you have suffered in the hopes that you will obtain compensation for them. Before they write you a check, the insurance company wants to ensure that you have suffered these damages. They may be looking for nuggets that they can use against you, especially if your case goes to court. Insurance companies are more likely to investigate you when you file a large claim. Any large check that they write comes out of their profits. Therefore, they are looking for any way to escape paying for the damages their policyholder caused.
How Insurance Companies Use Information that They Gathered Against YouThe insurance company wants to disprove:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Insurance Companies Take Snippets of Information Out of ContextAll it takes is one glimmer or piece of information for the insurance company to cherry-pick for them to reduce your settlement offer. Although they do not have the final say over the amount of money you get, they can present this evidence in court if you file a lawsuit. Inconsistent information can undercut your credibility, and the insurance company will not hesitate to use it as leverage against you. While insurance investigators are usually more common in other cases (such as long-term disability insurance claims), do not assume that the insurance company will not investigate your claim. In fact, you should act like the insurance company is watching you while your claim or lawsuit is pending, even if they are not. The last thing that you want to do is give them ammunition to deny your claim or try to reduce your damages.
Be Very Careful When You File a ClaimWith that in mind:
- Set all your social media accounts to private to keep those who are not your friends from seeing your posts (if that is possible)
- Do not post anything about your physical condition.
- Do not post any pictures that show you performing any physical activity.
- Be very careful about what you do outside your home.
- Do not speak to anyone about your accident, especially those who you do not know.