In personal injury claims, They most likely are
If you have submitted a personal injury claim in Ireland or the UK, there is a every likelihood your insurance company has sent your case to their contracted surveillance and investigation company. It’s only a matter of time before you are placed under the standard two day surveillance. Most likely to determine day to day mobility in regards to your claim.
How did it come to this
The claim has been amber or red flagged.
The cases of personal injury compensation claims have exploded in the past few years, particularly in the UK and Ireland.
In Ireland around 268.4 million Euros was claimed in personal injury cases in 2017 across the board. For every €1 in fraudulent claims detected, another €3 is thought to remain undetected.
Detected fraud in Ireland’s insurance sector is close to 50 million Euros.
The rise in personal injury claims has directly led to substantial growth in another business sector. Surveillance and investigations.
The rise in personal injuries claims have not gone unnoticed by the Irish National media.
In late 2018 RTE investigates published a wide ranging article breaking down the skyrocketing of claims and corresponding personal-injury-data
They looked at insurance claims data over a 9 year period from the State Personal Injuries Compensation Board (PICB)
In all cases notifying the PICB and completing the injury documentation is the first step in a personal injuries claim. The annual report data from this body was used to identify individual counties in Ireland were award payments were highest.
Local Authority claims across Ireland between 2012- 2017 were also delved into. These were accident claims from roads, footpaths, and other council amenities amongst others. The costs of these claims came to 387 million Euros. Which is a conservative estimate according to the main insurer for these local authorities.
Boom time for Surveillance
Once insurance companies receive these claims, either directly or through solicitors, the claim handling teams with their research and analytic sub teams go to work.
Once the data has been thoroughly analysed and numbers crunched the investigation companies come into play.
The insurance company “instructs” their chosen private investigator company. An instruction can be compiling a claimant background profile, straight to surveillance, or a combination package of the two.
So what does it boil down to for the individuals claim.
Day to day physical monitoring of your activities with the intention of gaining as much filmed surveillance evidence as possible.
The main goal being to disprove the claim.
The investigators have all they need (in most cases) photos, personal characteristics, social media profiles, confirmed address, to spend two days filming. The result of these two days and the evidence obtained (or lack of) may and most probably will result in another two days surveillance down the road.
Insurance companies want to reduce costs and fraud. Investigation companies want to increase profit and market share. A symbiotic relationship with two divergent agendas. The shark and the pilot fish. Both feeding off each other in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Each organisation must keep each other happy in order to achieve their own goals and agendas.
This is troublesome for the individual if the personal injury claim is a genuine one. The insurance company may be skeptical and proceed with planned surveillance. In most cases they do.
The other side of the coin
Claimant or plaintiff solicitors tend to see things differently.
A South Dublin based solicitor who has dealt with hundreds of personal injuries cases, said it is wrong that those making claims are tarnished by the “reputation of the few who are dishonest”. “My view on fraud claims it that it’s so grossly distorted. “
“There are claims that are fraudulent, of course and good luck to insurance companies when they find these people, but there’s so many people now afraid to bring claims as they don’t want a PI following them, or to be thought of as being dishonest by the general public.”
As a former surveillance investigator I know one thing is for sure.
The tide of new instructions from insurance companies to investigation firms wont be slowing down anytime soon.