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Claims Management

Weighing the Impact of Social Media on Claims

Social media investigations can be imperative in how an organization processes future claims and may be used to reduce claim costs. We dive into its potential to change outcomes.

May 20, 2024

Social media provides a lens into an individual’s everyday life, and from a claims perspective, that insight can make it easier to investigate high-risk cases in real time. However, it is not solely designed to strengthen injury evidence; it may also help advocate for an injured worker, so they receive the best care possible throughout recovery.

“Not every claim will require investigation, but social media can be an invaluable tool when necessary to progress a claim,” said Melissa Muelchi, Regional Claims Manager at Safety National. “Regardless of why it is being used, documentation is always intended to be unbiased and meant to purely observe an injured worker’s day-to-day function outside of their work.”

Here, we identify how the investigation process can be used to impact a claim outcome.

Claims Investigation

When identifying claims that would benefit from additional investigation, an adjuster may utilize social media monitoring as an unbiased observation method. An experienced adjuster will typically be familiar with red flags that warrant further discovery. Unlike other field observations, social media can be more cost-effective and collaborative, allowing information to be shared quickly.

Photo updates, location check-ins, and tags may all be used as exploratory means to learn more about an injured worker. Since most of these methods are date- and time-stamped, the information may be used to contradict or disprove statements made by an injured worker. For example, if their activity level varies significantly from what their doctor is reporting, it may question their claim’s validity. Sometimes, social media posts confirm an injured worker’s inactivity and support part-time disability demands.

Injured Worker Advocacy

Alternatively, social media can be modeled to legitimize an injured worker’s assertions. When everything is consistent between the injury and how the worker presents, the best decisions can be made for their treatment and recovery.

Additionally, their social media accounts can provide a living timeline of their recovery and may help all stakeholders identify better choices for medical equipment or even home modifications. Perhaps they have documented how much they miss being an active part of a child’s soccer game since they cannot access the field. An adjuster might see this post and use it to find more accommodating medical equipment, like a scooter wheelchair attachment.

Potential Challenges

There are always consequences to the wealth of information provided by social media. An abundance of detail can make it particularly time-consuming to sift through what is valuable and relevant to a claim. In a world of AI, deepfakes, and falsified information, understanding what is real can also be challenging. Digital footprints are everywhere, but a considerable amount of privacy laws exist, so traversing each state’s specific rules also needs to be considered. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, social media should be used responsibly, prioritizing the care of the injured worker.