You may be surprised to hear that insurance companies sending investigators to watch you aren’t just TV and movie plot devices. When you submit a long-term disability claim, which could possibly cost insurance providers hundreds of thousands of dollars, spending a couple of grand to make sure you’re not faking your injury is in their financial best interest.
These days, they don’t need to hire three people to follow you around for a week – though they still might. Instead, they do a far more efficient review of your online life, looking for disqualifying clues.
Insurance companies now have teams of people who conduct “social media canvassing.” They monitor your current feed and go back months or even years into your archive.
They’re looking for any sign that your injury is less severe than your claim states. For example, suppose you submit a long-term disability claim for excruciating lower back pain. In that case, they will scan your social media accounts for images, videos or even plain text suggesting you’re walking around, running errands, playing with your kids at the park and other activities that indicate you’re healthy enough to return to work.
They’ll also scan for signs that your injury stems from a pre-existing condition. An innocent post from six months ago about how you strained your back while installing a basketball hoop could result in your claim being denied.
Lock down your account visibility
A quick way to keep insurance investigators from canvassing your feed is to go into the privacy settings for each platform and set them at maximum. At those settings, the only people who can see your posts are your friends and followers. Do this before you file your claim. If you do it a week later, it may already be too late.
Delete old posts
If you don’t want to lock down your profiles, you can go through your old posts and delete items that could complicate your claim. Again, if you hurt your knee at work and need surgery, but you also have a Facebook post of how you hurt your knee snowboarding last winter, you’ll want to clean that up, even if the injuries are unrelated.
Similarly, avoid “Latergrams,” the Instagram term for posting old photos while reminiscing. Even an innocent post like “I guess I won’t be snowboarding for a while after my knee surgery” with a picture of you smiling on a snowboard could complicate or delay your claim.
If your long-term disability claim was denied for any reason, you might still be able to appeal successfully. Consult an attorney for guidance.