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Insurance Company Surveillance Tactics: Watch for Those Who May Be Watching You
Insurance Company Surveillance Tactics: Watch for Those Who May Be Watching You
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Insurance Company Surveillance Tactics: Watch for Those Who May Be Watching You

Posted in Blog on July 17, 2022

When you get into a car accident that left you injured, you may file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. 

Although you may not give much thought to what that insurance company is doing while you’re waiting for your claim to be processed, there’s a good chance they’re interested in what you’re doing. Insurance companies are notorious for surveilling people who file claims against their drivers. 

It’s important to educate yourself on the ways they can keep tabs on you and how you can protect yourself from their tactics. As our Denver personal injury lawyers share below, some types of surveillance are legal.

Common Insurance Surveillance Tactics

When the insurance company wants to know what you’re up to, they’ll use one or more methods to keep an eye on you. Here are a few common insurance company surveillance tactics that they might try.

Internet/Social Media Searches

Social media is one place insurance companies look to find counterevidence. Even if your social media accounts are set to private, nothing you post online is ever truly private. You could innocently add a new follower and find your Instagram or Facebook being used against you to invalidate your claim. 

In particular, they’ll try to see what you were posting in the wake of your accident and use posts to suggest that your injuries are not as bad as you claim they are. 

Active Surveillance

Some insurance companies will reach out to people you know and try to catch an inconsistency in your story. They’re looking for any reason to deny you compensation and they will talk to people who know about the accident until they find something to use against you. 

This is more common in high-value cases. Here are some examples of active surveillance:

  • Contacting witnesses: The insurance company may ask witnesses pointed questions to find any information that suggests you may have been partially or completely to blame for the accident or your injuries. 

For example, they may ask the witnesses if they saw you using your phone or wearing a seatbelt or if you looked distracted while driving. They may also ask them if you seemed or looked injured right after the crash.

  • Interviewing friends, family members, and colleagues: The insurance company can also reach out to your friends, family members, and colleagues to interview them about your accident and injuries. 

Their purpose is to poke holes in your account of what happened. If your claim doesn’t match the story you told to your sibling, friend, or coworker, the insurance company can claim that you lied and are entitled to nothing. 

It’s best to warn your loved ones not to speak to strangers about your case. If you can’t trust them to keep quiet, don’t share details of your case with anyone but your attorney. 

Passive Surveillance

When you claim to have painful or serious injuries, the insurance company will try to undermine that claim by catching you doing things that make it seem like your injuries are not as bad as you say they are. 

Here are a few ways they can watch you:

  • Private investigators: They may hire a private investigator to follow you in public or sit outside your home. If they catch you driving somewhere while you’re supposed to be on bed rest, or playing with your dog or children outside while you’re claiming to be suffering, they can use this information to shut down your case and deny you compensation. 
  • Photos: These private investigators may take photos of you running errands out and about, or even at your home if you are visible through the window. 

It’s legal for them to do this as long as they’re not on your property. Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings when you’re leaving your home.

  • Audio/video recordings: Private investigators will back up what they found with audio and video recordings of you in public or outside your home. Keep an eye out for unfamiliar cars parked on your street and be careful what you say in public.

4 Ways to Protect Your Case From Prying Eyes

While you can’t always avoid insurance company surveillance tactics, there are things that you can do to keep your business as private as possible. Protecting your privacy also protects your case.

1. Follow the doctor’s orders.

After your injury, if your doctor tells you to stay home and rest, do that. If you’re caught going out running errands or having dinner with friends when you were supposed to be resting, it can really hurt your case. 

Even if you’re having a good day with little pain or a burst of energy, not following orders can aggravate your injury. Then it can be argued that your pain and limitations are at least partially your fault. 

2. Limit what you post on social media, and ask friends and family not to tag you.

It’s common for many to share their day-to-day lives on social media. Try to limit what you post on social media and definitely avoid posting about your case. 

It’s also helpful to ask your friends and family not to tag you in any posts, or better yet, refrain from sharing anything including you. Keep your social media accounts private and be wary of any new friend requests from people you don’t know. It could be an insurance agent or private investigator.

3. Know your rights.

Know what is and isn’t legal when it comes to surveillance. A private investigator can watch you in public or outside your home, but if they come on your property, you can ask them to leave. If someone comes on your property uninvited and won’t leave, they’re trespassing and you can call the police. 

4. Hire a Denver personal injury lawyer.

A Denver personal injury lawyer from Zaner Harden Law can answer your questions if you think insurance companies are using illegal tactics to spy on you. It’s important to protect your case as much as you can, and hiring a personal injury lawyer is one of the best ways to do that.

Worried insurance is watching? We can help.

If you were injured in an accident and are now worried that the negligent driver’s insurance company is watching you, Zaner Harden Law can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you protect your case from predatory insurance companies who want nothing more than to deny you compensation for your claims. 

Call us today at 720-594-6256 to schedule your consultation.

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