In the first post of this series on social media, we listed various reasons the insurance company is searching your social media profile during a claim investigation to specifically address the non-claim related issues carriers are searching for in your tweets, posts, and check-ins. Click here to read Part I of this series.

Adjusters, investigators, and attorneys use Google and social media to learn about the character and habits of those they are connecting with on a claim.

While we know that social media posts are used to undermine credibility and get unsolicited intel on an insured, there are ways your social media footprint can be used to help during an investigation of your claim.

Focusing on just personal property losses, here are some ways looking back at your old posts—and specifically your photographs—can help you if policyholder document your damages. These tips can help any policyholder in any state, and be applied to any peril when items of personal property are being claimed.

  1. Photographs can help you inventory. Many people have pictures of the rooms of their house showing up in the background of Facebook photos. Did you take a funny video of your cat? That same video may show evidence of the contents of a living room and dining room?
  2. Your favorite photos show you all dressed up for a special night on the town or on vacation. These photos show the vintage earrings and great purse you wore for New Year’s Eve. Those vacation pictures will help make sure you remember that multi-lens camera and the great treasures you brought home from the Alaskan cruise.
  3. Photographs can jog your memory about events and your belongings. You can not only see items you owned in the background but you will remember more about the location of your cherished items in your home if the actual property is now stolen, burned, or blown away.
  4. Kids have a lot of stuff and for some reason stop using many of those expensive accessories and toys. Looking back at old photos on Facebook can help you remember what was in the closets.
  5. Have a wedding album on Instagram? These hashtagged photos will help you remember not only the best night of dancing to Billy Joel but also jog your memory about old neighbors who came and the gift they purchased for you.
  6. Photographs can depict model numbers or help identify the model you owned. Zooming in on the photo of the electronics shown in the cute picture of your son’s missing front teeth will reveal the model of surround sound you had in the den.
  7. Photographs can be used by experts to understand the pre-loss condition and help with valuations. This works for basic items and items that are more special to you.
  8. Looking at a photograph of your kitchen from Grandma’s birthday party can jog your memory on what was in the cabinets and drawer better than “just trying to remember” while you stare at a blank inventory form.
  9. For more rare or cherished items, photographs can be used by valuation experts to determine the replacement cost of a series or a details set of lost items. An example here might be a model train set collection. Photographic evidence can be the key to assisting the insurance company in understanding what was lost, all the little important pieces and the values.
  10. Total loss inventories are very difficult but looking back at photos can help you remember the Christmas gifts you wrapped for your children and give an accurate evaluation of the holiday décor or things now kept in storage.

If you are reading this post, your insurance company may not be responding in the way you’d prefer to your claim and this short list of items can help, but is not all inclusive. Public adjusters use this information with you to help you tackle, recall, and document your damages. Merlin Law Group just
came back from attending the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters‘ Winter Seminar, and the claim assistance from the members, and their dedication to helping policyholders, is remarkable.