How convenient would it be for insurers if they could just add individuals on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform in order to track & trace behavior? This would give insurers a powerful weapon in the fight against fraud. For instance, insurers could determine where a claimant was at the time of a car accident. The claim might have been issued from a so-called holiday destination, while a Facebook status update reveals that the claimant actually was at a local festival.
Social media changes the game
Internet-of-Things (IoT) changes the way people behave. It also changes the way companies behave. And it therefore makes some things easier but also trickier at the same time. It would not be difficult to see the advantages for an insurance company when it is possible to look into social media to get extra personal information related to a claim. Links between individuals involved in a case can quickly be made. Social media can also provide insight in the claimed incidents, as different people can report the same occasion. This helps to construct a more accurate picture of what happened. Besides that, it saves the insurer valuable time and money, as they reduce the amount of on-site visits and time spent on investigations.
The rise of new technologies such as dashcams or GoPro related footage of sports and vacations makes it possible to see online what happened at the time of an accident. Not only from the persons involved, but also from people that were there when the accident happened. Witnesses might be identified from a video or post something on the topic themselves. This could reveal that claimants were not at the locations they mentioned they were, or that the claimed damage was not as severe as it has been reported.
For the claims investigation units these developments may sound as moving into the ideal world. However, it is not that simple. Key is that the information should be used correctly. Not all data is publicly available or can be used from a legal perspective. There is a difference between looking up a person via Google, or to start an investigation into someone. Insurers have to be careful in interpreting the data that they find. Is it the correct social media profile they are looking at? Is the account owned by reliable people? Is the gathered information open and usable for an investigation?
Social media broadens the possibilities during an investigation. Investigators can dig wider and deeper. Nevertheless, insurers must keep in mind that rules and regulations differ per country. Most countries provide guidelines for use of social media for investigations. If insurers stick to these, social media is a powerful helping hand when investigating fraud cases. On the flipside, if insurers do not manage to play by the rules, it does not make them much better than the fraudster.
Source: Post Online