The Utah Gumshoe: Claims Adjusters and Private Eyes - A Love Story
- September 20, 2016
- by Scott Fulmer
- Business Tips
Listen: Claims Adjusters and Private Eyes A Love Story
Years ago I was having problems with a particularly troublesome claimant. He never left his house. We knew his address was good but despite spending several days and numerous hours I was unable to get any video on him. The claims adjuster was equally frustrated and in a moment of desperation said to me “Why don’t you just do surveillance when he’s active? What a novel idea! It would certainly make my job a lot easier to just show up when the subject was active. But the reality is that’s not the nature of surveillance. We don’t know when the subject will be active, which is the reason for surveillance in the first place. When it comes to working together, both claims adjusters and private eyes need to focus on both, good communication and realistic expectations. Let’s consider communication first:
Communication (or lack thereof)
I overheard a statistic at a private investigator conference several years ago. It was from a survey about private investigators. The number one complaint against private eyes? Lack of good communication and failure to return telephone calls. With all the options these days it is a wonder that this is still a problem. I think the real issue is timeliness and attention to detail. The truth is private investigators do not always return telephone calls when they should. Taking a couple of days to return a call can cause real problems for an adjuster. Just like private eyes, claims professionals are very busy. They spend a great deal of time making and receiving phone calls, sending and receiving emails, inspecting medical reports, taking statements and juggling 100+ claimants. Contrary to popular belief their every thought is not of you. Return telephone calls and respond to emails as soon as possible. If you don’t have all the information you need to do so, at least call or email and let them know you’re working on it.
Back in high school I had a band director that used to say “we all need to be on the same sheet of music.“ It is said that expectations determine perceptions. Of course, everyone has different perceptions. After two days of surveillance you may count yourself lucky to get a minute of video of the subject checking her mail. The claims adjuster, on the other hand, may not understand why you didn’t’ get any more video then that. It all comes down to expectations. You are there on surveillance. The claims adjuster is not. Therefore, you need to apprise the claims adjuster early as to any specific nuances relating to the surveillance. Is it a rural residence and a direct visual is not available without compromising the integrity of the investigation? Does the subject live in a downtown apartment complex with restricted security access? Does the subject take a bus, taxi or Uber? These things can make surveillance difficult. If you and the claims adjuster are on the same sheet of music you’ll have realistic expectations. Improving your communication skills and tempering your expectations will serve to alleviate any conflict that may arise between you and the claims adjuster.
This is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe, reminding you the game…if afoot!
About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast
The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of Utah Gumshoe, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.
He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in PInow.com and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.
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