Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Social Media Being Used For Insurance Investigations

Insurance investigators are making more use of the cyber world to expose scammers. There are so many people using social media now that the sites are routinely monitored for evidence of fraud.

Social media is an amazing tool. In fact, it's become standard practice for insurance fraud investigators to use powerful data mining software to comb through hundreds of social media sites.

From Facebook, to dating sites, to Twitter, officials are looking for evidence of fraud.


  • An Arizona woman pleaded guilty after a Facebook photo showed her wearing wedding rings she claimed she had lost while swimming in the ocean.
  • An Ohio man collected $30,000 in benefits after claiming he was too badly injured to work. Photos on Facebook led investigators to his gym, where undercover cameras caught him bench pressing five hundred pounds.

People cannot resist the impulse to share the details of their lives with millions of strangers on social media sites. As to whether this represents a privacy issue, at this time the courts routinely allow investigators to mine social media sites. The position seems to be that when you're posting your exploits in front of tens of millions of people to freely see, that's not privacy anymore.

Always be careful of what you post to your social media profiles!  These days, more than ever, insurers and law enforcement officials are increasingly monitoring social media posts to check for insurance fraud. The use of social media monitoring has exploded in the insurance industry.  Insurance claims adjusters view social media as a gold mine for their investigations.

Not only do insurance claims adjusters look for proof that your claim isn’t fraudulent, they also might look to see pictures of what your car looked like before the accident.  If you were injured during the accident, adjusters might look at your pictures and status updates to see how the accident has affected your life.  They could also search social media for potential witnesses to the accident.

Whatever situation you’re in, if you find yourself filing an insurance claim after a car accident, it is a best practice to avoid posting about it on social media.  It’s even smarter to avoid accepting “friend requests” from strangers. The extra boost in your friend count is not worth it!

If you are involved in an auto accident, or plan on making any type of insurance claim, for that matter, make sure you comb through your social media profiles with a fine-toothed comb.  You never know who could be watching!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Benefits of Surveillance, Social Media in Workers’ Comp Claims Investigations

Social media is deeply integrated into our society.  Individuals and businesses alike are using these applications to connect. From following celebrities to scoring deals from your favorite stores, the use of social media extends far and wide, all from the touch of your smart phone or click of the mouse. Despite the ever-growing applications for social media, one thing remains constant: people are using various websites and applications to share their lives online. In fact, many people use multiple social media applications simultaneously to share posts and photographs, and the “#” symbol has taken on a whole new meaning with the ability to “hash tag” reference any word or phrase. While the information available through these applications can seem overwhelming, such content can be an extremely important resource when handling and defending against personal injury claims and lawsuits.

In addition, social media can also be used along with surveillance in the investigation of suspicious work comp claims. Though using surveillance in claims handling can be an expensive, it is still an invaluable tool.

Social media can add value in an investigation by offering a photo of the injured person so the subject can be correctly identified prior to surveillance. In addition, investigators can use social media sites to documents activities in which the injured may be involved. If there is a question as to the residence of an individual, social media may reveal a photo taken in front of a house. Through online research, the address can be determined and verified.

Good read on this topic can be found HERE from Claims Journal.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Toxic Coworkers

Most of us understand how toxic it can be to interact with negative people. Their dreary outlook on life can drag us down. And, their pessimistic attitudes can, too often, discourage us from giving our best or taking the necessary steps to improve our future success. Toxic people can disrupt our lives and create negative thoughts within ourselves, even side tracking our own success.

Perhaps one of the most useful things you can do is to define your space and how much you are going to allow others to influence you. Often, negative people find it easy to encroach on other people by joining in on conversations--whether in person or even through social media--that are never welcome. The most effective way to eliminate as much pessimism as possible is by simply setting limits within the parts of your life to which negative people have access. Keep your sanity and create boundaries to protect yourself.

While it's important, and human, to spend some of your time helping others with their problems, it's impossible to help them win every battle. Choose whether it's more important to help your friend figure out why they are so dissatisfied with their current job, or help him get through his latest breakup. You'll exhaust yourself trying to fix all of your friend's problems or daily issues. And, it is possible that placing the negative complaints on pause for a few hours--or a couple days--can bring about a resolution without your involvement at all.

Surround yourself with people that make you happy. People who infuse your life with positivity--make these positive friends a much bigger part of your life than your negative friends. Being bombarded by a constant stream of negativity can take a toll on even the most easygoing person, so protect yourself from that potential burnout by adding quality time with those who uplift your spirits and encourage you to do great things.

Most negative people don't even realize how they are coming across. Create a positive spin on things for your negative friend. Sharing something positive can help your negative friend open their eyes to their own negativity and, hopefully, help them focus more on the positives in their lives.

Finally, what appears to be the most successful tactic of all is finding positivity within yourself. As hard as it may be, don't let the negative words or actions of others get to you. Maintain positive energy regardless of what happens--smile in the face of adversity--by replacing negative thoughts with positive.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Filling Seats in Your Company's C-Suite

Looking to fill a seat in your company’s C-suite isn’t your average hiring process. The next “chief” of any of your departments will be making decisions that shape the current company culture and the future of your business. The repercussions of a bad C-level hire will spill over into every level below and can even turn off loyal clients and potential customers.

Take the time to look for the right candidate, consider more than the resume, be clear in your job description about what you want and need.  Here are a few tips for hiring c-level executives so you'll be happy with your new CFO or COO:

LOOK INTERNALLY FIRST: With someone who's going to be managing as much as a C-level executive, it's often best to source internally. Your final choice would already have a strong grasp of the company, its needs, and its culture, which is what you need from your hire. This person would also best be able to take the company in the direction that it needs to be in. Sourcing internally also boost morale, as it means that several people within your company will get a promotion.

FOCUS ON THE COMPANY'S VISION: If you do decide to search externally for your new executive, make sure to find someone who shares in the company’s vision. This is true for a startup as well as a larger enterprise, as the new hire won't be a good fit if he/she doesn't fully believe in what the business is trying to accomplish. This can include traits in the executive that fit with company culture and mission.

INVOLVE OTHERS IN THE FINAL DECISION: Since this new c-level executive will be the boss of a lot of people, and probably people who have been with the company a while, make sure that they play a role in deciding their new boss. If your company has a board of directors, make sure to involve them, too. By leaving the decision to just one person, it might not be a good one if the new hire can't earn the respect or trust of those under his management, or has trouble fitting his/her leadership style into the department or company.

PREPARE FOR THE TRANSITION: This is one of the best practices for hiring just about anybody, but it's especially important for c-level hires. If the person is new to the company, or even new to such a management role, you need to give the hire, and everyone else, some preparation and time to adjust. Make sure everyone understands that there will be a change, and make sure current employees give the new hire a chance to do their job and to lead the team.

Monday, April 4, 2016

College Recruiting Strategy

The number of insurance-related job openings between 2016 – 2024, as estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will be roughly 584,000.

Our industry is currently 2.5 million strong and growing steadily—but there is simply not enough incoming new talent in the pipeline to meet this demand. As much as 25% of the industry could be ready to retire by 2018, and there are not enough graduates to replace retiring employees.

Unfortunately the message highlighting the benefits of working within our industry has not yet reached young talent. This provides us with a challenge requiring industry representatives to begin raising awareness of insurance careers.

In part, if you want to attract recent college graduates to your company, new data shows that the message isn’t about selling them so much on the job itself, but where that job can take them.
Research shows that young talent want their first job to be a stepping-stone in their career, not just something that pays the bills.

College students and recent college graduates care a great deal more about how the job would advance their career and the development opportunities it offers than compensation.

Compensation was cited by 61% of students and recent college graduates as a key factor to taking a job, but that was 6% lower than those already in the work force for a period of time.

Meanwhile, students and recent graduates cited career path 11% more often and development 9% more often as a key factor to taking a new job, when compared to those same currently employed professionals.

Generally, the lowest-paid position a person will have in their career is their first one out of college. What’s more valuable in the long run to them is learning skills in that first job that will lead to a higher-paying, higher-prestige position.

Of course people will always care about what they are paid, their work-life balance, and the culture of your organization, but if you don’t want to compete on salary (and you shouldn’t), a winning recruiting strategy is to show off the skills a young hire can learn at your organization.  You don’t want your main selling point in recruiting to be compensation. Instead, you want to sell the job itself, with the compensation being an additional bonus.

To execute that strategy you need to understand what the person is looking for. In the case of recent college graduates, it’s really a position that will advance their career.

So when you are building your college recruiting strategy be sure there’s a clear story around how your company will help them in the years down the line.

Source of data and statistics: Bureau of Labor Statistics and LinkedIn Survey