The Impact of Social Media on Your Insurance Claim
Social media has become essential to our daily lives, allowing us to connect with others, share our experiences, and stay updated on current events. However, social media can do more harm than good regarding insurance claims. As revealed by Aviva–the insurance company, in a survey 36% of insurance claims are denied or reduced due to information found on social media.
While social media can provide evidence to support your claim, insurance companies can also use your posts to deny or reduce your claim. In fact, a study by the Insurance Information Institute shows that 78% of insurance adjusters routinely scour social media platforms for any information that could be used in establishing a reasonable doubt on your claim. So, even if the activity was only for a brief moment or unrelated to the injury, the insurer can still use it to cast doubt on the validity of your claim.
Ways Your Social Media Posts Can Affect Your Claim
Insurance companies tend to be crafty and may use your social media activity findings to deny your claim. Here is how your social media can hurt your claim.
- Admitting Fault–Even if You Didn’t Intend to
Intentionally or unintentionally admitting fault in a personal injury claim can damage your lawsuit irreparably. Contributory negligence law could bar you from recovering from another party’s negligence if you were negligent in causing the harm. Unfortunately, admitting fault can cost you your claim or significantly impact it.
Avoid mentioning or discussing your accident on social media at all. Insurance companies can take even the most casual remarks out of context. For instance, an off-the-cuff apology “sorry” that the accident happened could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.
- Accidentally Showing Your Injuries Were not Serious
Most accident victims get tempted to share photos and selfies of themselves after an accident or when sick. Pictures and videos are allowed but strictly to document the seriousness of your injuries. However, you should only share these photos and videos with your lawyer or doctor.
The rationale behind this is that by sharing your photos or videos on social media, you’re making light of them. The insurance adjusters will make it seem like your injuries are not too serious.
- Sharing Your Activities and Location
Apps or websites you may use to “check into” events tend to post your activities and share your locations publicly. Case in point, you’ve hurt your leg in a slip-and-fall accident. On the off chance that you post a photo or video of yourself at an event or you “check in” at a particular fun location, it could appear that you weren’t significantly injured.
While your personal life events shouldn’t be anybody’s business, the insurance adjuster may use these posts as evidence against you. Turn off all location or activity-sharing apps until your insurance claim is resolved.
- Allowing Your Friends and Family Share Too Much Information
Your social media posts may be one of many sources of concern. Your family or friends may mention or tag you in social media posts. Insurance investigators could still access them even if their accounts were private.
Furthermore, casual conversations are also a significant risk. For instance, you may share a brief comment on another person’s post stating that you were in a crash too. Despite not saying anything incriminating, the other party may joke back, saying, “I told you not to drink and drive.” This may raise doubts and suspicion about the cause of the accident.
You can prevent such issues by privately telling your friends and family you are on a social media break. Additionally, advise them to avoid posting anything about you while you’re on vacation.
- Sharing Confidential Information
Sharing confidential information from your insurance negotiations can also affect your insurance claim. The insurer may have offered a sizable settlement, and you want to share the news or explain what happened to your social media friends. Doing so could jeopardize your claim. Ensure you discuss the details of your case with your lawyer only.
Tips to Use Social Media when Pursuing an Insurance Claim
Are you heavily reliant on social media and risk losing a lot if you don’t post or update your social media? Below are safety tips for using social media when pursuing an insurance claim.
- Avoid posting anything to do with your case. Similarly, request your friends and family to avoid the same on social media.
- Limit social media activities to what’s necessary until the claim has been resolved.
- If you must post on social media, review each piece of content thoroughly and consider the possible consequences.
- Check your Privacy settings to ensure no one outside your immediate connection can check your social media activity.
- Avoid posting any frustrations about your claim on social media.
- Avoid adding new connections or accepting new friend requests while the claim is ongoing. Chances are someone from the defense team, an insurance investigator, or a person linked to the defendant is trying to gain access to your information.
While it may be challenging and almost impossible, the easiest way to avoid social media hurting your claim is to avoid using it until it is closed. You can share a quick posting informing your friends that you’re on a break, then go private. Another safer option is temporarily deactivating your account until the claim ends. Once deactivated, an insurance investigator can’t search for you or related information to use against you.
How Insurance Companies Use Your Social Media Activity against You
Insurance investigators will use social media to uncover information that may contradict or conflict information you presented in your claim. This can be good, especially since it can help find insurance fraud cases.
However, in case of a legitimate claim, the insurer will use social media against you by:
- Using your content to construct a “history of behavior” supporting their assertions and invalidating your claim.
- Sticking directly to the language you use in your insurance claim and comparing it to your social media activity. In case you report you’re unable to perform a certain action, you shouldn’t be seen doing it and certainly shouldn’t have any social media post showing that you’re doing it.
Talk to Lawyer About your Insurance Claim
To avoid jeopardizing your insurance claim, you must be mindful of what you post on social media. Always assume that anyone, including insurance adjusters, can see anything you post. Don’t share information that contradicts your claim or could be used to dispute it. Turning off geolocation on your social media accounts is crucial to prevent others from knowing your exact location.
Winning an insurance claim requires effort on your part too. You can also work with a lawyer to help avoid the pitfalls and loopholes that insurance adjusters set to deny or cap your claim. Speak to our personal injury lawyer to help you navigate your insurance claim. Contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC online, or call our office at (504) 294-5094.