How Social Media can Void your Insurance Claim

If you've been involved in a car accident and filed a collision injury claim, insurance companies can use your social media posts against you to deny a claim. Here's how it works.
 
Big Brother is Watching
Did you realize that car insurance companies use your Facebook and Twitter accounts in an effort to deny your accident claim? Yes indeed, Big Brother is watching and looking for reasons to void your claim. Insurance companies, attorneys, and claims adjusters routinely monitor the social media of those who have filed an injury claim. It makes sense when you realize that social media is all about baring your soul, or at least your vacations and activities with the world.
 
Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and others offer a treasure trove of information about you. In fact, insurance adjusters will tell you that checking your social media accounts is one of the first things they do after you file a claim. This is completely legal since your social media accounts are part of your social profile. Today, if you are injured from a car accident, your insurance company will be investigating what you are posting on Facebook.
 
While most of us think that contacting our insurance agent is the first thing we should do after a car accident, we might consider cleaning up our social media accounts as a close second. Think about it. Social media is packed full of claims-investigation evidence and insurance companies are looking for proof that a person might be filing a fraudulent claim.
 
Imagine if part of your accident claim involves neck or back injury and pain and you have post-accident images of you on social media playing football, diving into a pool, bungee-jumping, or even just smiling at the camera for a selfie while enjoying a day at the beach or a nice dinner out. An insurance company's "Special Investigation Unit'' is dedicated to investigating fraudulent or questionable claims and can use those images against you to deny your claim.
 
Checking your social media has become part of the due diligence of investigating a case, especially if you're supposed to be at home wearing a neck brace and you are pictured on Facebook apparently out having the time of your life. Plus, claims adjusters focus on the language used in the claim. For instance, if such language includes the statement that you cannot walk and soial media shows you running in a marathon, or if the claim reports that you can't lift more than 10 pounds, but you are pictured lifting your spouse with ease, guess what, your claim will be denied.
 
Besides incriminating photos and videos, simple tweets can cause your claim to be voided as well. People have actually tweeted that they are driving under the influence of prescription drugs or ignoring their doctor's orders and driving anyway. Imagine tweeting that you got into an accident as the result of participating in road rage. Remember that anything you say on social media can be held against you.
 
We are not suggesting that you delete your social media accounts if you get into an accident, but you can change your privacy settings. The key is that your online activity can be used as part of the claims process so long as the information is a part of your open public profile. On the other hand, if an investigator has to "friend" you to get your information, then whatever he or she finds becomes unethical.
 
Here are a few suggestions on things you can do to keep insurance companies from mining your social media content.
 
Change your Settings
When it comes to Facebook and Twitter, you can easily change your privacy settings so that only "friends" can read your posts, view your photos or see status updates. Likewise, you can set your Twitter account to "protect my tweets" to limit who can read your musings.
 
When it comes to insurance claims and social media, even a joke can get you in trouble. A friend can tweet or post that you are always getting into accidents or that you're an incredibly bad driver, and those sentiments can get back to an investigator. Remember that when it comes to insurance claims, those who are working for the insurance company don't have a sense of humor.
 
Don't forget that you can still be data mined even if you change to the highest settings on social media and you can be investigated through your friends and their friends.
 
Zip it!
The best advice is to keep quiet on social media when it comes to being involved in any kind of accident. Posting about your car accident claim or about your car accident at all is a bad idea. Similar to a police investigation, anything you say can and will be used against you. It is not unusual for a car insurance company to ask you to provide a list of your activities for several weeks after an accident. They can check this against your activities on social media.
 
Naturally, social media should not be the only source of evidence against your claim. You can insist that the insurance company also take into account statements from witnesses and doctors who are working with you. The bottom line is to watch what you post after an accident because nothing is private on the Internet. It is not unusual to have an insurance company demand that you provide your social media login information so they can question your private messages and check your online habits post-accident.
 
Don't Share
Limit the information you share on social media after you have a personal injury claim. Don't talk about your frustration or pain over the accident. Anything you say can be used to damage your case. Never post pictures of yourself involved in any activity that may be outside your doctor's orders. Even a photo of you enjoying a sunset can be used to suppose that you are not really in pain and anguish.
 
Tag, you're it
Anything that is posted on social media can be found by a clever data miner so monitor your posts, and the posts of your friends and their friends. If necessary, delete photos, videos, and posts that you are tagged in. The main thing is to consider what you are about to post after an accident.
 
Don't Friend Strangers
Insurance companies have been known to try to sneak into your social media friends circle by simply sending you a friend request. Once they have been accepted, they have full access to your posts. Just say no.
 
The Bottom Line
Never post anything that can be harmful to yourself or others. One click can kill your claim. For extra safety, you can always temporarily deactivate your social media accounts. Insurance companies can and will use your social media to deny collision injury claims. Your status updates, posts, and photos can be used to compare accident times and the severity of your injuries. Monitor what you post.