Disability Insurance: Insurers May Conduct Surveillance
If you’ve submitted a claim for disability benefits with your insurance company or are interested in challenging the initial denial of benefits – whether such benefits are available through an individual plan or a group plan – then there’s a chance that your insurer will conduct surveillance on your activities. Surveillance evidence (photos, video, text, audio, etc.) can be used to call into question the severity of your disability and could damage your ability to secure the benefits you’re rightfully owed.
Insurers May Conduct Surveillance
In the past, insurers would sometimes hire investigators to perform initial surveillance of disability claimants. These investigators would go in-person and would track the whereabouts and activities of the claimant, keeping an eye out for footage that could undermine their claim for benefits. For example, if the claimant is attempting to recover disability benefits due to a crippling spinal injury, then evidence that claimant is attending rock climbing sessions on weekends would be extremely damaging to their arguments.
In today’s tech-dominant society, insurers are taking advantage of the power of social media and online profiles to obtain damaging evidence posted by (or of) the claimant. In-person surveillance is therefore not quite as necessary – the insurer can browse online profiles and obtain evidence (such as photos of a rock climbing trip) to introduce as evidence during the internal review process, or in formal litigation.
By obtaining such evidence, the insurer effectively creates doubt with regard to your disability assertions. They can poke at your “honesty” and paint a negative picture of the overall situation.
Challenging the Conclusions Drawn by the Insurer
As with illness, the best treatment is prevention. It’s important not to get in contact with your insurer without the representation of a qualified attorney – by putting your insurer on notice of the fact that you’ll be making a claim for benefits, you’re putting a target on your back. With the aid of your attorney, you can identify potentially damaging activities and avoid the negative impact of surveillance evidence altogether.
If the insurer does have damaging surveillance evidence, you can challenge the conclusions that they are attempting to draw from it.
Let’s return to our rock climbing example. If the insurer is arguing that the rock climbing activity on some weekends is proof that your condition is not disabling, you could argue that the activity is not indicative of the impairment caused by your spinal disability – perhaps your spinal disability allows you to engage in strenuous activity for a few hours at a time. Perhaps continuous, lighter activity is impossible (i.e., sitting at a desk and working throughout the day). The nature of your disability may be more nuanced than the surveillance evidence makes it seem.
Contact an Experienced Chicago Private Disability Attorney for Assistance
If you’ve had your legitimate disability insurance claim for benefits denied by your insurer, then you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the challenges that lie ahead. If you’re suffering from a disabling condition, you’re likely more concerned about making a physical and psychological recovery than getting involved in a conflict with your insurer – in truth, however, obtaining benefits is critical to securing the stability necessary to move forward with your life in a positive way.
Here at Bryant Legal Group, P.C., our attorneys are standing by to provide comprehensive assistance. We have decades of experience representing the interests of those who are suffering from a disability and whose insurers have unreasonably or unjustifiably denied their benefits claims. We have a unique, personalized approach to disability insurance litigation, and work closely with clients to ensure that their needs and preferences are satisfied throughout the process. This commitment to clients has helped us secure numerous successful verdicts and settlements over the years.