Why Disability Insurance Companies Conduct Surveillance When Handling Claims

Insurance providers that offer long-term disability insurance spend millions of dollars every year to perform surveillance. In doing so, they hope to catch a claimant doing activities that are not consistent with a claim. If the insurance company succeeds, it will use this surveillance to deny or terminate a person’s long-term disability benefits.  

For companies that offer disability insurance, surveillance is a worthwhile investment to boost their profitability. Sadly, this always works. Evidence obtained during surveillance has allowed them to deny a lot of claims every year. Below are common surveillance tactics insurers use:

Background Checks

Often, insurance providers hire third-party investigators to perform a thorough background check on claimants. These investors will compile their report’s results, including your address, the type of vehicle a claimant drives, the people they live with, the type of vehicles other household members drive, properties the claimant owns, active licenses and permits, businesses owned by the claimant or their spouse, and criminal history. Often, these pieces of information are used to conduct further surveillance.

Photographic and Video Surveillance

Typically, investigators hired by disability insurance providers park outside a claimant’s house for a few days using a small camera. As they try to wait to catch activity using their camera, they may have to sit in their vehicle for hours. 

In some instances, these investigators will follow the claimant when the latter leaves their house. If the claimant drives, an investigator may follow by car and videotape the person they are following after they have arrived at the destination. Photographic or video surveillance is meant to see whether a claimant leaves their house, how frequently they leave their house, and what they usually do when they leave. 

Social Media Checks

These days, insurance companies access the social media accounts of claimants to obtain personal information about them. They hope to find information that can lead to conclusions. Typically, investigators will look for a claimant’s name and possible aliases on different social media platforms. Then, they will review the activity of the claimant and note details such as their profile photo, hobbies, employment status, location, relationship status, photos, status updates, as well as comments and interactions. 

Insurance providers are looking to find social media activity that contradicts the long-term disability claim of a person. Unfortunately, this is quite problematic, as one’s social media profile does not necessarily depict their daily life. Because of this, claimants should try to limit their social media activity or posts. In fact, it is even better to avoid social media until their claims are resolved.