Insurers’ Law Firms Using New Technology to Track Your Social Media ActivitySeptember 10, 2013 | Disability Claim Denials, Disability Insurance Attorney, Disability News, Filing Disability Claims, Insurance News
As many disability insurance policyholders already know, insurance companies regularly look to claimants’ social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) for information to help justify a claim denial.
What you may not know is just how important those social media searches are to the insurance company’s lawyers whenever a claim goes to litigation.
At a recent disability insurance law conference attended by attorneys for both claimants and insurers, one insurance company defense attorney spoke about just how crucial it can be to find supposedly damaging information about claimants on social media. “I don’t know how we defended these cases before Facebook,” she said. “It’s a great resource. We’ve found pictures of claimants dancing . . . all kinds of things!”
Your insurance company’s lawyers are so eager to use social media to find information that can make you look bad that they are now shelling out extra money on software specifically designed to monitor and archive everything you say and do on social media. This trend is explained in further detail in the ABA Journal’s recent article: 6 tools to help firms track social media. While the article states that some firms are using the tools to monitor their own clients, there is no doubt that they are being used to monitor their clients’ legal adversaries.
The information that can be gleaned using this type of software is unsettling. One example from the article:
“For instance, if a post says something like ‘I’m having breakfast at this great restaurant’ and there is a picture of what they are eating . . . the software should also be able to show the GPS coordinates, other people they are with, information about the restaurant, etc., so that the whole story is presented, not just the text.”
What this means for claimants is that they must be extra vigilant about what kind of image they are projecting on social media. Everyone, no matter how disabled, has moments of joy in life. But if those joyful moments are posted on social media, they can easily be misconstrued, especially without context.
In October’s monthly newsletter (subscribe here), we will discuss some guidelines for making sure your social media is protected from insurance companies and their attorneys.