At some point after you’ve filed a disability insurance claim, your carrier may contact you to arrange a “field interview.” Also called a “field visit,” a field interview is when a disability insurer hires a representative to come meet with you face-to-face to talk about your benefit claim. Most times, the company will ask that you meet the field representative at your own home or office.
Your claims analyst will probably tell you that the field interview is just a way to get to know you better, or to help the company gain a better understanding of your claim. What the claims analyst won’t tell you are the real reasons why insurance companies put so much time and effort into planning in-person field interviews, such as:
- To take your picture so that a private investigator will recognize you during surveillance.
- To find out what your house and/or office looks like to further aid in surveillance.
- To look inside your house and see if you’ve been doing a lot of housework, paperwork, cooking for yourself, etc., all of which (according to the insurance company) can mean you’re able to work in your own occupation.
- To see if you look like you’re in pain, if you can sit down for a long period of time, or if you can walk without any gait abnormalities.
- To see if you look like you might have current monthly income from sources other than your occupation (i.e., if you have a nice car, a big house, a boat, etc.).
- To drop in and try to interview your spouse, former business partners, office manager, or neighbors.
- To try and get you to relax and open up, or to catch you off guard so that you give information the company can use against you.
In our next post, we’ll discuss what you can expect during the field interview itself.