Private Investigators and Insurance Cases
Provided by HG.org
One of the most common reasons that private investigators are hired is to assist with insurance cases. In many cases, they try to uncover whether a fraudulent insurance claim has been filed. They do this by conducting an investigation and employing other investigative techniques.
Types of Insurance Investigations
Private investigators may look into all different types of claims. For example, they may look into personal injury, slip and fall, product liability, workers’ compensation, disability insurance, healthcare and other types of fraud investigations.
Ways of Defrauding Insurance Companies and How Private Investigators Help
Insurance fraud has occurred for years on end. It is committed in a variety of ways. For example, a common way that homeowner’s insurance fraud is committed is by taking property out of the home and reporting it as stolen. In this type of case, a private investigator may be able to conduct surveillance to watch where the homeowner goes, such as a pawn shop to pawn the items in question or to a discreet storage location. In other homeowner’s or automotive insurance cases, the claimant may actually commit arson in an attempt to get insurance money. In workers’ compensation cases, the worker may fake or exaggerate an injury. He or she may have been hurt off the job and tries to blame his or her employer for the injury when the employer is not to blame. Personal injury claimants may pretend to be injured. In many of these cases, surveillance can be helpful in gathering vital information.
Surveillance is often conducted on a person who has filed an injury claim. Surveillance may find someone who has claimed to have bene seriously injured working on top of a ladder to clean gutters, going horseback riding, taking adventurous trips or conducting home improvement projects. In other situations, claims may be complicated and involve several different people such as a doctor who colludes with accident victims to support fraudulent claims. Surveillance can also help expose fraud, such as by recording a person walking normally until he or she reaches a doctor’s office and then begins limping.
In other situations, claimants may purchase expensive luxury items, vacations and commodities that are contrary to their regular income, indicating some type of illegal receipt of monies.
A private investigator may conduct research into an insurance claim. This may involve reviewing any photographs of the injury or accident, reviewing receipts for property purchases, reviewing repair bills, cross-referencing police report statements with other statements and reviewing other documentation related to the case.
Another helpful way that private investigators assist in a case is by conducting a background check on the claimant. This can help identify whether the person making the insurance claim has a history of filing claims and whether he or she has been convicted of crimes such as fraud. Additionally, a private investigator may be able to conduct a background check on a person to reveal personal or financial things about the claimant, such as that the claimant is going through a divorce, has fallen behind on bills, has his or her home in foreclosure or other factors that may influence him or her to try to commit insurance fraud.
Review of Documents
Another way that private investigators can help in insurance fraud investigations includes a careful scrutiny of insurance documents. For example, a claimant may submit falsified documents from a purported doctor’s office or repair shop. Sometimes these documents may be forged.
Contact a Private Investigator
A private investigator can explain ways that he or she can assist in insurance cases. His or her extensive experience may be able to help determine whether a claim is valid or not. Additionally, he or she can discuss the types of tools that he or she may use to help prove or disprove a claim, whether this means conducting surveillance with the help of multiple investigators or by thoroughly reviewing the documents and other evidence available in the case.
Not all private investigators specialize in the same types of cases, so be sure that you inquire into the background of potential investigators that you are considering retaining. Ask about what types of cases the investigator usually focuses on and determine if insurance cases are part of the traditional array of investigated cases. Insurance cases require specific skills and the use of particular investigative techniques. Inquire into the background of potential investigators to ensure that they have the right skillset. Discuss your case and possible options with a professional investigator today.
Read more on this legal issueUnderstanding Bad Faith Claims Against Insurance Companies
How “Full Coverage” May be a Myth in Car Accident Cases
Pursuing a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.