Why Would an Insurance Adjuster Ask For My Social Security Number?
Below is a transcript of the podcast
Hi, this is Ann Margaret Perkins with Perkins Law Firm and I’d like to welcome you to this podcast today. I’m going to be answering a question a lot of people ask which is why would an insurance adjuster ask for my social security number.
One thing you need to understand at the outset is in the business of insurance, information is power. Any personal identifying information an insurance company can get on you helps them to get additional information about you. That’s true not only for claims, when you’re making a claim but also when they’re evaluating risk, assessing you if you apply for insurance, whether they want to insure you. So information is power to them. Date of birth is a good way for them to identify you and get information about you but because social’s are very specific and nobody else has yours, that’s the best way for them to track you. Certainly, if you make a claim one of the things they’re going to do is want to put your social in and see if it hits on any prior claims. And the ISO database is, one of the things insurers do when they put you in there is they look for patterns, they look to see if it looks like you have a history of claims, and then sometimes that will throw you over into the category of people that they’re going to look very critically at is to see if you might be making a fraudulent claim. And of course, the fact that you’ve had a claim in the past or claims in the past doesn’t mean that you’re someone who’s trying to commit insurance fraud. It can’t mean that you’ve been the victim of bad drivers or irresponsible people. So sometimes they will take that as patterns and ascribe motives to you that are not true.
You have absolutely no obligation to give an insurance adjuster your social security number. They will tell you that they have to have it. That’s maybe internally their company says that they have to have it but there’s no law that says you have to give them your social security number. If they don’t ask for it on the front end and most of them will, when it comes time to settle they’ll ask for it. They’ll tell you that they can’t, like State Farm will tell you, “We can’t write a check. Our software doesn’t let us write a check without putting your social security number in our system.” I will tell you they can write checks without putting your social in their system. I have them do it all the time. I had them say that in one case that was in litigation, we settled the case, and the attorney called me and said I need your client’s social security. I said I’m not giving you my client’s social. And she said well they can’t write the check. I said well then I’m going to need to file something with the court because I know that’s not true. And I did file a motion with the court and before the court could rule on it, State Farm backed down from insisting on my client’s Social Security number because they know that what they’re doing is not required. But they will tell you that they have to have that and you just have to stand up to them and tell them, no, I know that’s not true. And then stand firm on that issue because they’re not entitled to it.
Now if you’re on Medicare sometimes they’ll try to tell you, “Well I have to report this to Medicare and I have to have your Medicare number, which is your social, in order to do that.” That’s not true either. You do have an obligation if Medicare has paid injury-related bills, you do have an obligation to pay Medicare back, but you do not have a legal obligation to provide your Medicare number to an insurer. Now I realize that if you’re listening to this and you’re handling your own claim with the insurer, you may argue with them. But when push comes to shove, they may not listen to you and sometimes having an attorney makes a difference in those circumstances because they know that an attorney can do something legally to force the issue of them settling the case like I did with State Farm. Whereas if you’re not represented, sometimes I think that they feel like they can just make you do what they want to. So you don’t have an obligation to provide your social to them. Social’s are probably the best identifying information in the world I would think. And for that reason, I think we need to be very protective of them and insurers want them because of the very reason that you should not want them to have them because they do allow access to so much information.
So I hope you found this helpful. If there’s anything else that we can help you with we’re certainly happy to do that. You can contact us at 7707286932 or visit our website at injuryispersonal.com.
What if I have more questions about releasing my social security number?
As social numbers are extremely powerful, you must be very protective as it allows access to a serious amount of information.
If you hear the term, “must have it” know that is NOT the case.
There is no obligation to give an insurance adjuster your social security number.
If you are interested in a free consultation, email us! Or call us at 770-728-6932