Defendant insurance companies often conduct surveillance when involved in a personal injury or long-term disability claim. Although it doesn’t happen in every case, surveillance is a common strategy of insurance companies. It allows them to learn more about claimants’ daily habits and physical abilities, especially when the claim is highly contested.
Fraud is a huge liability for Insurance companies. Frequently, they take these steps to help them determine whether a claimant is being truthful about their injuries or disability.
Our clients often have many questions about surveillance as it relates to their case. Keep reading for answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What does surveillance involve?
The insurance company wants to know more about how you act when you think no one is looking. As a result, an insurance company investigator or private investigator will observe you as you go about your daily routine. They will most often observe you around your home and your place of work but may also follow and observe you in other public settings. The investigator knows to maintain a distance to avoid being detection as they watch you. They will take videos and/or photos, or make notes of their observations.
Today, many of us live our lives on the internet and well as in “real life”. The insurance company will also look at your online presence, particularly any social media accounts.
Is it legal for the insurance company to follow me?
The reaction of many people when they first learn of the possibility of surveillance is to wonder whether this is even legal or allowed. It is normal to feel outraged at the idea that someone may be following or spying on you. However, public observing including property outside of a dwelling that is visible from the street, and various work places, are open to the public. There is no law against public photography in Canada. Within a public space, there is no protection, under Canadian law, from strangers taking photos or video. Any social media profiles that are open to the public, allow access to anyone, including insurance companies.
The idea of surveillance makes me nervous. Should I be worried?
Knowing that someone is watching or following you, can bring on feelings of nervous, or even violation. However, there is no reason to worry. It may help to know that in most cases surveillance happens for only a few days total. Because of this, surveillance evidence covers a small window of time, and, as a result, can lack context. In contrast, when it comes to proving your will be able to show years of medical records and your own explanation of your experience, which will provide a much fuller story than a few photos can.