Long-term disability insurance firms spend a lot of money yearly to spy on their claimants. On top of performing surveillance, insurers want to “catch” individuals doing activities that are not consistent with their disability claim. If the insurance company is successful, it will use the evidence to deny the claimant’s long-term disability benefits, saving money.
How far will your insurer go to spy on you? Insurance companies are willing to use these tactics:
An insurance firm hires a third-party investigator to perform a comprehensive background check on you. The report from the in-depth screening can include the following information:
- Your physical address
- The people living with you (e.g. parents, children, significant other, etc.)
- The kind of vehicle you drive
- Criminal history, including driving offenses
- Active permits and licenses
- Business registered in your name (or your partner’s name)
- Properties registered under your name
The investigator uses the information from the report as a starting point for further surveillance.
Photo and Video Surveillance
Investigators usually park outside your house for a couple of days and use a small camera. They sit in their vehicle for hours and wait to pick up activity on their recording device. If you leave your house, the investigator may secretly follow you and continue to record your movements once you have reached your destination.
When it comes to photographic or video surveillance, investigators want to find out whether you leave your house, what you do when you go out, and how frequently you leave your home. They also take note of the following minor details:
- How you dress (e.g. in sneakers or high heels)
- Any items you carry, including a bottle of water and a handbag
- Any assistive devices you’re using, such as a wrist brace or a cane
When investigators capture small but useful snippets of activity, the insurance firm uses them as evidence to deny your claim.
Social Media Checks
Accessing social media accounts is generally a simple and affordable way for insurers to gather personal details about their claimants. Many profiles contain vast amounts of information that the insurance company can use to draw conclusions.
Investigators usually search for your name in any of these popular social media sites:
When investigators perform searches, they look at your activity and note down the following details:
- Comments on interactions and posts with other users
- Photos and what you’re doing in those photographs (e.g. pictures of recent vacations)
- Status updates
- Relationship status
- Employment status
- Profile picture
General Web Searches
Insurers also perform general internet searches to find any information that’s inconsistent with your long-term disability claim. They may search the web for the following:
- Articles about you
- Photos of you
- Comments you post on blogs or other sites
- Personal and business web pages
Individuals who received a notice of denial from their insurer can seek the help of Haffner Law. Our experienced disability insurance lawyers in Los Angeles guide clients through the appeals process and help them get the benefits they need.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)