Will the insurance company put me under surveillance?

Insurance company tricks to watch out for

When it comes to insurance companies, it is safest to assume the worst.


It is no secret that in Oszkar’s past life he used to work at law firms that acted for insurance companies against claimants. So we know that they will not hesitate to put surveillance on you if they think that it could benefit them at the negotiation table or in the Court room.


Times to be extra careful

It is important to realise that the insurance company can decide to put you under surveillance at any time. That said, here are some tricks to bear in mind:


1. The medical examination


Insurance companies will often arrange for you to be examined by one of their panel doctors. They will tell you the place and time to attend for the examination. When you arrive at the examination, you will be seated in the waiting room until the doctor calls you in. Surveillance often starts here. The “operative” starts filming you in the waiting room and they follow you for a few days. You don’t want to be like the guy who walked out from the examination using his walking sticks, but when he saw his train was arriving to the train station he threw away the walking sticks and started to run after it…


2. Your travel movements


The insurance company might pay for your travel (e.g., flights and/or a hotel) as part of a medical examination.


If so, then it is highly likely that they will also arrange for you to be followed by a private investigator. This is because they know which flight you will be on and this is a chance to follow you from the airport. Say, for example, you fly from Cairns to Brisbane for a medical. They might follow you from your home in Cairns to the airport, fly with you, and follow you throughout your trip in Brisbane. (This is based on one of our cases).


If this sounds like an invasion of privacy to you, that’s because it is. Unfortunately, however, this is not illegal.  


How can surveillance impact your claim?

In our experience, in the vast majority of cases the private investigator’s report will be useless. In fact, we have had more than one instance where the “operative” didn’t even realise they were following the wrong guy for days! However, on very rare occasions (usually with fraudulent claims) it can result in the insurance company being let off the hook for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars (which is all the incentive they need to make this sort of private surveillance a regular practice of theirs).  


So, if you have any upcoming medical appointments or conferences arranged by the insurance company, keep the possibility that you may be put under surveillance in mind.


Where to from here

If you want to get sound legal advice about your injury claim, please get in touch with us on (07) 3063 2268 or email info@deneslawyers.com.au and we will be happy to help.


We offer a free consultation with Oszkar Denes, our principal solicitor who has significant experience in acting for plaintiffs. Before that, he used to represent insurance companies so he knows all their tactics.