Cameras, covert surveillance and dirty tricks by insurance investigators

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2020 | ERISA Disability Benefits

Do you sometimes feel like someone might be watching you? If you’ve filed a claim for long-term disability benefits, your feelings might be right on the nose. Covert surveillance tactics by insurers have become pretty standard operating procedure as they seek to deny claims, cut off benefits or even “prove” fraud on the part of claimants.

What kind of tactics and dirty tricks can you expect from investigators?

Any if the below could be used to discredit your claim and deny your benefits:

  1. Home visits

A friendly-seeming insurance representative shows up at your door. Supposedly, they’re just there to see how you are doing or clear up some questions about your claim. Meanwhile, they’re taking notes on everything you say or do as they look for holes in your story to exploit.

Maybe you’re having a good day, and your multiple sclerosis isn’t flaring, but that won’t stop the representative from noting that you didn’t seem to suffer from any confusion, slurred words or problems with your attention span during the visit. Later, they can allege that you’re exaggerating the severity of your illness.

  1. Video cameras

Insurance companies love video cameras, particularly when they can catch a claimant doing anything that could be taken out of context and use it to deny their claim. That Amazon box you picked up from your front doorstep may have weighed less than a pound, but it can look a lot heavier on camera.

Private investigators will sometimes camp out across from a disability applicant’s house, follow them as they go to the doctor or run errands and even try to engage them in conversation. All the while, a camera is running to see what they can get on film that might be useful.

  1. Social media

Most people paint a slightly rosier picture of their lives on social media than they are in real life. However, any post or image that implies that you’re healthier than you are (including photos of you enjoying a family event) can be misconstrued against you.

Even if you think you have your social pages locked down tight, don’t count on it. Don’t take chances.

If your insurance company is trying to deny your claim and you’ve been subjected to surveillance, find out how an experienced long-term disability insurance attorney can help you defend against a false narrative and protect your benefits.