Do Car Insurance Companies Hire Private Investigators?

What Exactly Do Private Investigators Look For? The primary goal of the private investigator is to determine whether your activities back up what you allege in your personal injury claim. They’re looking for any indication that you’re exaggerating or fabricating how your injury affects your life in order to undermine your credibility.

Do insurance companies hire spies?

“Is the insurance company permitted to follow and watch me?” our clients have inquired in the past. Many personal injury claimants have legitimate concerns about this. They are not only dealing with terrible injuries, but they also have to worry about the insurance company watching and analyzing their every move.

Many vehicle accident damage claimants believe it is exceedingly unjust for the insurance company to keep an eye on them after the insured has injured them. The insurance company, on the other hand, is focused on paying as little as possible for your injuries. As a result, insurance firms have a reputation for spying on clients in order to gather material that could weaken the personal injury claim.

Can the Insurance Company Legally Spy on a Claimant?

Yes, an insurance company can hire a private investigator to follow you around while you are out in public. However, if the private investigator follows or spies on you in a place where you have a legitimate expectation of privacy, legal concerns may develop.

The distinction between public and private space can be difficult to draw. Spying on someone in their home, for example, is almost certainly a violation of their privacy. A private investigator, on the other hand, can keep an eye on you when you’re putting out the trash. Essentially, this means that a private investigator can observe you as long as you are in a public location, such as a sidewalk. It may be illegal for a private investigator to watch you in places where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as your home or attorney’s office.

Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Riddle & Brantley for a FREE consultation if you feel the insurance company hired a private investigator to follow you around after a car accident.

While it may be legal for insurance firms to snoop on you in public, there are some places where you should expect privacy. Our firm has dealt with insurance companies spying on clients on several occasions, and we would gladly assist you in navigating through this stressful situation.

“Will the insurance company ‘spy’ on me?”

Insurance companies, for the most part, will not spy on claimants who have suffered serious injuries and whose guilt is evident. However, as social media has grown in popularity, insurance firms have begun to monitor personal injury claimants online.

Claimants’ Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platform posts have been known to be combed through by insurance defense lawyers. The insurance company visits these locations to acquire evidence that the claimant is not as seriously injured as he or she claims. For these reasons, it’s critical that you don’t post anything about your injuries on social media, and that you limit who has access to your accounts.

Protecting Your Online Privacy and Legal Rights

Insurance companies and defense attorneys have recently used social media posts to try to discredit personal injury claims, according to Riddle and Brantley. If you’ve recently filed a personal injury claim, read the suggestions below to avoid insurance companies exploiting your social media post.

  • After an accident, use extreme caution while sharing anything on social media. While your claim is active, we advise customers not to publish any photographs or videos on social media. We don’t want to provide the insurance company with any information that they can use against you.
  • If you still want to use social media, make sure you utilize the most restrictive privacy settings possible. You can limit who has access to your social media pages, limiting the information and content that the insurance company or private investigator has access to.
  • Carefully select your friends and followers. Accepting just any friend or follower request is a bad idea. Check to see if the person attempting to follow you is someone you know. Insurance firms may attempt to track you in order to acquire access to your accounts.
  • Keep sharable material in mind. Limit the number of people who can tag you in a post. Another way the insurance companies can obtain evidence against you is by finding posts about you that others have shared.
  • Take your lawyer’s advise. Even though social media is one of the most common ways we contact with one another, it’s vital to keep your social media usage to a minimum during a personal injury case. Posts made before or after an accident can have a significant impact on your claim. You can minimize how much the insurance companies can use against you by following your attorney’s recommendations.

What do car insurance investigators look for?

Insurance investigators are employed by the majority of insurance companies, and their main purpose is to discover and prevent insurance fraud. This branch at GEICO is called as the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), and it is primarily made up of people with law enforcement and insurance experience.

Fraud is combated in a variety of methods by these investigators. They’ll take a look at “Reconstruct” the accident in a methodical manner.

They’ll look into any odd claims and look for signs of fraud. These investigators will also work with law enforcement to assist in the prosecution of fraudsters.

Finally, these detectives will search for “On insurance claims, check for “red flags” that indicate fraud. This entails keeping up with the latest fraud schemes.


My fiancé was involved in a terrible vehicle accident. He had major injuries, including fractured bones, and was in a coma for three days. He is unable to return to work and will require lifelong medical attention. Casing around our house was caught on camera by a private investigator, who even had a person impersonating as an insurance representative. They arrived unannounced and fled quickly when I demanded identification.


Private investigators are frequently hired by insurance firms to conduct surveillance on personal injury claimants. They have the legal right to do so. You have nothing to be concerned about as long as you tell your doctors and insurance company reps the truth about what you can and cannot do as a result of your injury. I’ll tell you that the insurance company either believes your fiancé’s claim is worth a lot of money and is looking for a way to reduce their risk, or they have cause to suspect your fiancé is embellishing his claim right now. In any case, I strongly advise your fiancé to get legal counsel as soon as possible. Once a lawyer initiates a case against the party responsible for your fiancé’s injuries, the attorney will have access to the surveillance videos and the investigators’ depositions.

Do companies use private investigators?

Some companies hire a private investigator to uncover flaws in their in-store security systems to prevent shoplifting or employee theft. A private investigative agency can conduct undercover investigations to help establish the source of inventory shrinkage.

Can insurance investigators tap your phone?

You are most likely not as paranoid as you believe. Insurance firms frequently use private investigators to track employees who have sought for workers’ compensation benefits in order to prove that they are not as injured as they claim. This is sometimes necessary to identify bogus claims. Surveillance, on the other hand, is a common method used by insurers to avoid paying for even genuine claims.

In general, private investigators are not prohibited from observing you in public locations and taking photographs or films of you. This does not rule out the possibility of them going to great efforts to obtain incriminating evidence against you. Trespassing on your private property, entering your home without your permission, hacking into your email or mobile phone, installing a tracking device on your automobile, or impersonating law enforcement officers are all things that private investigators are not authorized to do.

Despite these restrictions, private detectives can amass crucial evidence against you simply by following you around in public while you run errands, go to doctors’ appointments, or mow your yard. They may be allowed to capture photos or videos of you inside your home in some states if they can see you through a window from public land. Even in jurisdictions like Minnesota, where secretly photographing or recording through a house window is illegal, it’s only illegal if the person being filmed reasonably expected privacy (Minn. Stat. Ann. 609.746(b) (2018)). When you’re walking in front of the living room window with the curtains open and visible from the street, it’s difficult to argue that you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Fortunately, there are things you may do to avoid a private investigator damaging your workers’ compensation case. Make sure that your public actions are consistent with your injuries, even if the insurance company hasn’t challenged your claim. Also, avoid putting yourself in circumstances that may appear negative if taken out of context. Allowing oneself to be photographed or video filmed lugging heavy boxes, gardening, or horsing around with your kids, for example, is not a good idea if you damaged your back at work in the fall. You may believe it is acceptable to do these things and then quit as soon as you experience pain. However, a snapshot of a single moment (or a brief video clip) can make it appear as if you’re physically capable of performing these things.

Also, be cautious about what you share on social media, particularly photos. Before you upload a photo, consider whether it could be used against you in your workers’ compensation case. If you’re on temporary disability due to an injury, for example, don’t upload photos of yourself hiking, even if you drove all the way to the top of a hill and stopped to take a picture.

Finally, keep in mind that private investigators use telescopic lenses and are trained to take high-quality images from distances of more than a hundred feet. Just because there aren’t any photographers in the area doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

If the insurance company contests any aspect of your claim, particularly if it has images or recordings that portray you in a negative light, you should see a workers’ compensation attorney. An expert attorney in this field can assist you rebut that proof, put it in context, and obtain further evidence to back up your argument. (Learn what a good workers’ compensation lawyer can accomplish for you.)

Do insurance companies check cameras?

When a car insurance company receives notification of an accident, a claims adjuster is assigned to investigate the claim. Asking eyewitnesses to retell what they saw, analyzing images of the crash scene, obtaining copies of police reports, collecting black box information, and accessing traffic cameras are just some of the steps the adjuster can take to figure out who or what caused the automobile accident. If the accident occurred in front of a traffic camera, the video tape could be crucial evidence. A video of the accident could aid the insurance company in determining who was at fault.

Insurance companies may be able to use video footage to refute a claim’s legitimacy. A auto insurer’s purpose is frequently to pay as little as possible to victims. Insurance firms are known to go to tremendous efforts to deny culpability. Some people may even participate in bad faith insurance tactics like refusing legitimate claims. Many insurance firms examine traffic cameras for evidence that the collision did not occur as the claimant claims. If video evidence does not refute a victim’s claim, the insurance company may be able to establish comparative negligence.

According to California’s pure comparative negligence law, a victim will be compensated less the percentage of culpability he or she bears for the accident, with no limit on the degree of fault. For example, a plaintiff could be 80% at fault for causing an automobile accident but still earn 20% of the compensation amount. Traffic camera footage could be used by an insurance company to prove a claimant’s partial fault in the collision and thus limit the amount the insurer must pay the claimant.

Do insurance adjusters spy on you?

Insurance firms can monitor accident victims in a variety of methods, including:

  • Insurance adjusters may conduct short online searches on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Tumblr, among others. Adjusters will look for photos of you, videos you’ve posted on social media, and other proof to show that you’re not as badly harmed as you say. Insurance firms aren’t above altering a photograph.
  • Passive surveillance – If an insurance company detects fraud or believes you are not as seriously injured as you claim, the company may engage a private investigator to follow you around, photograph you, or even film you.
  • Active surveillance — In high-value instances, some insurance firms will conduct this type of surveillance. A private investigator may chat with witnesses, neighbors, coworkers, and even family members.

What should you not say to an insurance investigator?

Never apologize or admit any form of wrongdoing. Remember that a claims adjuster is searching for ways to decrease an insurance company’s liability, and any acknowledgment of fault might jeopardize a claim.

Do not declare you are OK or better than you were. This is especially crucial to remember when responding to the customary first question, “How are you?” Make no reference to your current state of health.

Do not make assumptions about any injuries you believe you may have experienced. Your comment could cause complications if your true diagnosis is more serious than your self-diagnosis.

Any offer to make a recorded statement should likewise be declined. During their initial calls, insurance adjusters will frequently try to get victims to give recorded testimonies, claiming that the recording is for the victim’s own safety. Don’t be duped. Conversations that are taped can be used against you in court.