Leaks – Insureds Need To Get Bigger Boats
Have you ever wondered how Unum and other insurers seem to find out things? Not only are insurance companies hacking into Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, but they seem to have other ways of finding out information about you and your claim. Insurers all stick together regardless of whether their actions are ethical, legal, or not.
Recently, an insured who was injured in an accident received a third-party settlement in which was written a non-disclosure statement. Suddenly, he gets a letter from Unum demanding repayment because his policy offsets “third-party settlements.” Apparently, Unum was sent a copy of the insured’s settlement check either by Traveler’s or State Farm.
In my mind a non-disclosure statement actually means non-disclosure. My guess is that since Unum knew about the insured’s injury they probably contacted both Traveler’s and State Farm and asked to be copied on any settlement. Or, Unum could just have contacted the insurers and asked for information. I’m not discounting other “investigative” means Unum has either, but either way, non-disclosure is still non-disclosure.
It’s not that the insured wanted to hide anything either. But, Unum found out about the settlement quickly which means it already had “information and search” available to it. Upon further investigation it was discovered Traveler’s or State Farm sent Unum a copy of the settlement check. They would not have done this if Unum hadn’t inquired or had an inquiry set up.
Other leaks often come from predictable sources such as ex-spouses with axes to grind, or neighbors when Rover winds up too often on their side of the fence. Today, it seems as though everyone is looking for wrongdoing even when there isn’t any.
Insureds can find themselves in trouble when other family, friends and former co-workers see them loading cases of soda in your trunk and call the Social Security Administration to make a report. (This actually happened.) Today, SSA does have the means to conduct surveillance and place any recipient under investigation.
Unum insists on obtaining SSDI files when claimant are not under any obligation to provide them. There is an information war going on between insurers and insureds because insurance companies believe everyone is filing claims for secondary gain and not keeping them informed.
Insureds and claimants should consider that there isn’t any information out there that can’t be had – legally or illegally. After all, investigators aren’t supposed to peep in your windows but they still do – they just communicate the information verbally and never put anything illegal in writing.
Don’t be surprised when insurers pop up with information you thought was unobtainable. Anything is possible in today’s insurance environment.
Filed under: Claims Process
Source: Linda Nee