If you have filed an insurance claim following a car accident, or have submitted a claim due to an incident (such as a break-in at home), you may be tempted to discuss the issue online over social media. You do, however, have to keep in mind that anything you say about an open claim could ultimately impact the outcome of the investigation, so you do need to proceed with caution and consider the following tips:
Never present new information – if there is a piece of information that you failed to report to your insurance company, or to a police officer that you spoke to about the incident, do not discuss it over social media. Better yet, follow up and report anything new you have remembered to the necessary parties so that all of the investigation that goes into your claim is accurate. If it appears as though you have been dishonest, or have something to hide, this may negatively affect your case. Always remember that anything you say online over social media is traceable, and more companies are choosing to use social media as a tool to gather information.
Avoid communicating with the insurance company over social media – it might be tempting to submit a Facebook post or send a tweet to get a status report on your claim, however, do not use social media for this. Your insurance company cannot provide personal information through a public forum. Instead, you should contact your appointed representative directly by phone or email. Ultimately, you may delay the process if your insurance company struggles with your chosen mean of communication.
Use social media if you need help finding others with information about the incident – you can reach out to your local community over social media if you are looking for witnesses who saw and/or have information about the circumstances around the incident. You can ask them to come forward and file a report. Their reports may assist your claim. In the case of a car accident, if one of the involved parties fled the scene (on purpose or otherwise) before the process of exchanging information was completed, you may be able to find them by asking for help. If you have any leads, allow the appropriate parties (the police and the insurance company) to follow up on your behalf.
Using social media sites may feel like simple communication among friends and acquaintances, but the reality is that anything that is posted remains online forever. When you’re in the middle of a claim, you do not want something that you’ve posted to impact the outcome, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.