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Picture this: Get critical claim insights from vehicle location photos

As claims fraud persists—costing property/casualty insurers approximately $30 billion a year—adjusters play an increasingly important role in identifying questionable claims early to avoid fraudulent payouts.

That’s why it’s critical to get a more complete picture during the initial claim review process, so you can better evaluate claims. But sometimes, all the details just don’t add up. Maybe some information in the file seems dubious. Maybe there’s something suspect about the event or entities involved.

The following are some examples of suspicious claims you may encounter and how data reports with vehicle location images can provide key details to help determine whether the claims are meritorious or questionable.

Out-of-state accident or garaging fraud?

Here’s an example of how you can use a data report to uncover garaging fraud:

An insured was involved in a vehicle accident in New York City during a weekday, though their auto policy states that they live in Pennsylvania. You research the insured’s loss history and notice that their previous claim also occurred in New York.

To dig deeper, you decide to do a location records search of the license plate. The search returns more than 30 images of the insured vehicle either in New York or parked in front of an apartment complex in the city. You now have evidence that the insured may be committing garaging fraud; and since insurance rates are much higher in New York than Pennsylvania, you can potentially save your company leakage from rate evasion.

A snapshot of preexisting damage

In this scenario, an insured says their pickup truck was hit while parked at a shopping center, causing damage to the bumper and tailgate. They also submitted images of the loss. You review the details, but the description of the event seems inconsistent with the damage in the photo.

You decide to do a search of time-stamped images of the truck, with dates preceding the date of loss and original effective date of this new policy. After reviewing the images, you find a photo of the vehicle taken two weeks before the loss with existing damage before the policy was in force. You refer the claim to SIU.

Injured worker caught malingering

Imagine you’re handling a bodily injury claim in which the claimant has a collarbone injury that’s kept him out of work for almost a year. From your experience, you know that the injury recovery time is usually shorter, so you decide to do further research on the claimant.

You search photos of the claimant’s vehicle since his injury. You find several images of the vehicle outside a gym near his residence. You also do a social media search and find him tagged in a friend’s photos lifting weights. The two reports provide viable avenues for further investigation and potential evidence of claims fraud.

Vehicle images provide better insight

Adjusters and investigators who dig deeper to get the full claims picture are able to uncover questionable claims attributes or validate legitimate claims faster. Time-stamped vehicle images are one of the tools that help you enhance your claim review and improve SIU referrals.

Decision Net® offers a Vehicle Sightings report that provides images of a vehicle’s physical location over time that can help detect claims fraud or verify claim details. You can search images of a vehicle by license plate or VIN from a specific time frame. The report accesses a database of more than 11 billion vehicle images, giving you a rich data source to augment your claims process.

Lou Riggio

Lou Riggio is director of product innovation for Decision Net at Verisk. You can contact him at

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