18 May Dangers of Social Media With Vehicle Insurance Claims
Many people feel comfortable sharing their life experiences on social media. They like friends and family knowing what is happening with them and how they feel about things. Doing this can cause problems in a person’s life after a car accident. Sharing too much about a car accident can result in bad things happening. It could provide important information that will be used against a person submitting an insurance claim.
Social media postings could cause you to have your vehicle insurance claim denied or reduced.
Checking Public Content
Insurance attorneys are warning their clients that sharing too much information on social networking can cause real problems. After the accident occurs, a person should not be broadcasting what just happened on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or more. Once a claim is filed, checking social media accounts is becoming standard practice by insurance companies and their adjusters. The goal is to discover any information that could be used to deny an insurance claim or provide a lower payout. There have been situations where claims adjustors discover blatant fraud based on social media searches. These are posts that completely contradict details provided on an insurance claim. A driver may file a claim for a hit-and-run accident but post on social media it was something completely different.
Now insurance companies will do more than see if an accident is discussed on social media. They will carefully examine social networks for any clues about a person’s driving habits. There have been instances when people would regularly post videos on social networks of them driving recklessly. This may not prove that a person is at fault for an accident, but it shows the risks they take and can cause doubt with their claim. Some people willingly share pictures of themselves in bar parking lots. This could cause suspicion of possible drinking and driving activity. It is always a bad idea for a person to post videos or pictures of themselves on social media drinking any alcohol. These types of videos and pictures usually don’t prove a thing. It does provide the opposing side in a court battle with more ways to discredit their opposition.
An organization called the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners provides a report regarding searching for information on social networks. This report concludes that social networking content displayed with no protection from privacy settings can be utilized during an investigation without it being considered an ethical breach. Ethical codes prevent a lawyer, or an investigator who is working for the attorney, from clandestine friending on social media of people they are actively investigating. These ethical codes do not apply to individuals who are not working directly for an attorney or investigator. As long as there are no direct instructions from an attorney or an investigator to initiate contact with a person on social media, there is no problem. It is possible that once information is obtained by getting past privacy settings, it can then be used during legal proceedings.
Manage Public Profiles
This type of information gathering is not new. Many individuals experience high levels of scrutiny from their employer on social networks. This has resulted in people being more careful in managing their public profiles. With insurance claims adjustors reviewing social networks, and looking for reasons to deny claims, it’s important people used increased discretion on what content they share on social networks.
A person may also be in trouble if a friend posts something stupid about the car accident on social media. A well-meaning friend or family member could share a picture or post something that could complicate an ongoing insurance claim. In some cases, friends or family members may think it is funny or are making a joke when they say false things about a car accident. Making up things or posting false photos can provide negative results. An insurance claims adjustor won’t see the humor in a posting on social media. They will see this as information to use and benefit the insurance company. It’s important people realize it’s impossible to know everyone who is watching them on social media.
One of the most effective ways to keep vehicle insurance companies from using information from social media is never to post anything about the car accident. It’s also important that friends and family members not discuss it on their social media accounts. If that is too much to ask, it’s important everyone be as brief as possible and never provide details. Set account security settings on social media accounts and only permit access to friends and family. Don’t give into emotions. Avoid talking about the car accident or insurance company. Never accept a friend or follow request from someone unknown. This could be someone working for the insurance company. Even when a settlement has been reached, it’s important never to speak about the compensation that was received. The less said about a car accident on social media, the better.