In Florida (and throughout the country), disability insurance policyholders must take special care not to post potentially compromising text, photos, and videos to their various social media accounts. Insurance companies are increasingly making use of evidence that their investigation teams dredge up on social media accounts to undermine policyholder claims and thereby justify a denial.
Insurers Have Always Investigated Inconsistencies
Disability insurers have a long history of using privacy-invasive tactics in order to investigate potential inconsistencies in policyholder claims. In decades past, insurance companies would direct their internal investigation team (or hire out a third-party investigation team) to commit to surveillance activities — after some time, they might discover that the policyholder was not suffering from as severe a disability as was originally claimed.
How Social Media Has Changed the Investigations Process
With the advent of social media, insurance investigations teams have expanded their activities to include digital surveillance. Posts that you make on social media will almost certainly be monitored by your disability insurer.
How does it work?
Remember, disability insurers only owe benefits if you are actually disabled — in other words, if you are suffering from a condition that renders you incapable of working, to the degree set out in the policy. Insurers conduct surveillance so that they can “catch” you doing something that you should not be able to do given your claimed disability.
For example, imagine that you suffer a back injury in a motor vehicle accident that causes you to experience severe pains and limited functional movement. You are a construction worker, so the injury is effectively “disabling,” pursuant to the terms of the insurance policy. Now, the cyber investigation team (run by the insurer) is surveilling your profiles. If you post a picture of you doing something physically intensive, perhaps playing a sport (which should be impossible given your disabling condition), then the insurer will use this evidence to further justify a denial of benefits.
It’s worth pointing out that evidence procured on social media is not generally enough to function as the exclusive justification for a claim denial — the insurer will likely have to secure other evidence that supports their argument that you are exaggerating the condition at-issue.
If you have already made posts on social media that are deemed “inconsistent” with your condition and have been used by the insurer to justify their claim denial, you can still effectively challenge the denial. Not all disabling conditions are the same. In some cases, you may be capable of engaging in physical activity for a short period of time, but the disability might be such that extended physical exertion — such as during a full-time workweek — would be impossible. A post on social media does not fully encapsulate your disability.
Consult With Our Team of Experienced Miami Disability Lawyers for Further Guidance
If you’ve had your disability insurance claim denied, delayed, undervalued, or otherwise mishandled by your insurance company, you might be entitled to challenge the insurer’s decision and secure the benefits that you’re rightfully owed. We can help.
Here at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A., our attorneys have represented policyholders in a range of insurance disputes for over two decades. We are committed to the provision of comprehensive legal advocacy — from the beginning of the engagement process, we work with clients to ensure that all relevant documentation is obtained and that the situation as a whole is well-understood. We are thoroughly prepared for litigation, which gives us a competitive advantage during early negotiations.
This comprehensive, client-oriented approach has brought us (and our clients) many successful results over the years. Further, we have been widely recognized for our services by national and regional publications, such as Super Lawyers and U.S. News and Report.
Call (305) 577-3996 today to schedule a consultation with one of the experienced Miami disability insurance lawyers here at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A.Share