If you’ve ever filed an insurance claim, you know the drill: the insurance company will ask you questions about the incident, investigating to determine whether or not they will cover the damages. But in recent years, insurance companies have been increasingly requesting access to policyholders’ social media accounts as part of their investigation process. While this may seem like an invasion of privacy, there are actually several good reasons why social media investigations are an important tool for insurance claims. Let’s take a closer look.
Reason #1: Social Media Investigations can be used to corroborate statements made by the policyholder.
Let’s say you’re filing a claim for a broken window. You tell your insurance company that the damage was caused by a severe storm that came through your area. However, when the adjuster checks your social media accounts, they see that you posted pictures of yourself and your friends at a baseball game on the day of the storm. Clearly, there was no severe storm on that day, and your story is fishy. As a result, the insurance company may deny your claim.
Reason #2: Social Media Investigations can help catch fraudsters red-handed.
Fraudulent insurance claims cost Americans billions of dollars every year. And while most honest policyholders have nothing to worry about when it comes to social media investigations, those who do try to defraud their insurers should be aware that investigators will be looking at their accounts. For example, let’s say you’re injured in a car accident and file a personal injury claim with your insurer. But then investigators find video footage of you running a marathon just days after the accident—clearly you were not as injured as you claimed to be! In cases like this, social media investigations can help catch fraudsters and save insurers (and honest policyholders) a lot of money.
Reason #3: Social Media Investigations can provide valuable context for accidents or injuries.
In some cases, an insurer may request access to a policyholder’s social media accounts if there is reason to believe that an accident or injury occurred while the policyholder was engaged in risky behavior—behavior that would not be covered by their policy. For instance, if someone files a homeowners’ insurance claim after sustaining injuries in a fall, but investigators see photos and videos on their social media accounts showing them doing base jumping and cliff diving, it’s likely that their fall occurred while they were engaging in one of these risky activities and thus would not be covered by their policy.
As you can see, there are several good reasons why social media investigations are an important tool for insurance claims. By conducting these investigations, insurers can catch fraudsters red-handed and save honest policyholders from having to pay higher rates due to fraudulent claims filed by others. So if you’ve ever been asked to provide access to your social media accounts as part of an insurance claim investigation, now you know why!