Anyone making a claim for disability insurance benefits needs to be aware that they can, and likely will at some point be under the careful and close scrutiny of a private investigator armed with video cameras. They may be parked outside your home in the classic low-budget spy thriller van, or they may be watching from a control room in a non-descript office building thousands of miles away. But if you’ve filed a claim, chances are good they are watching.
Video surveillance is a relatively inexpensive way for insurance companies to gather additional information about the life and daily patterns of a claimant. It’s also a great tactic to intimidate policyholders. See our blog on a Good Morning America investigative news story concerning a Florida man suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. Hartford Insurance tried to scare him with a videotape, and then backed down when the powerful news show exposed this bullying practice.
Not everything that appears on video, however, is what it seems. If the videotape is being reviewed by the insurance company, chances are they will ignore the slight limp in a woman’s gait. Or that the man only left the house once during an entire week – hardly “normal” behavior for a healthy person. Instead, the focus will be on the self-serving needs of the insurance company.
What should you do when an investigator shows up in your driveway with a tape? Ask for a copy. And call an experienced disability insurance attorney. There’s a lot more to any picture than meets the eye. An experienced disability insurance attorney knows the strategies used by private investigators to build the insurance companies case as well as they know the law.
If you are being videotaped, call us. If you’ve been presented with a videotape and a surveillance log and the insurance company is delaying your benefit payments, call us. This is one battle you don’t want to fight alone.