Can An Insurance Company Conduct Surveillance on Me?

Posted February 18, 2021
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Recently, CBC released an article about a woman who was placed under surveillance by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as part of her claim for benefits after a job injury in 2015.

This raises the question; if I am injured in a car accident, can my automobile insurer put me under surveillance?

The answer is yes. From time to time, insurance companies will use surveillance as part of their investigation into your claim. But this does not mean you should live your life in hiding.

How Does The Insurer Use Surveillance?

Insurers use surveillance as an attempt to reduce the amount of accident benefits they will have to pay under the claim. The goal is to document the injured person on video doing activities that they say they either struggle to do or cannot do at all. For example, if you tell the insurer that you cannot sit for long periods of time due to your injuries and surveillance shows you sitting for three hours at a Toronto Blue Jays game, your credibility would be challenged, and the insurer would likely use this to stop paying your accident benefits.

Are There Limits To Surveillance?

As intrusive as this seems, private investigators are allowed to park on your street and follow you when you leave the house. They can video tape you when you are shopping, at the park with your family or doing other recreational activities. Basically, if you are in a public place you are open to being surveilled.

However, there are limits on what a private investigator can do if they have you under surveillance. They cannot listen in on your phone calls, go through your mail, hack into your computer and read your emails. They cannot film you through your windows at home or other private places such as places of worship like a church or mosque. Further, a private investigator cannot approach you and speak to you without identifying themselves as an investigator.

What Can I Do If I Believe There Is Surveillance On Me?

If you believe you are being surveilled, you should speak to your lawyer. Your lawyer can then reach out to the insurance company and let them know that you are aware of the surveillance. This usually brings it to an end.

In summary, as long as you are being honest about your injuries and impairments, you should not worry about surveillance. At best the investigator will see you running errands or attending appointments, but the video will not document the cognitive or psychological injuries suffered in a traumatic brain injury or what you need to do to physically recover from your errands once you return home.

At Thomson Rogers we offer free consultations so please feel free to reach out to us at any time. We are here to help.

Stacey Stevens is a partner and a personal injury lawyer at Thomson Rogers. Stacey can be reached at 416-868-3186 or by EMAIL.