Corporate & Insurance Fraud Investigations in Manitoba.

At Duncan Investigations Inc., we act for major corporations and insurance companies to employ a special team of investigators with years of surveillance experience to follow our target and put them under surveillance for a number of days.  We conduct surveillance in order to determine the authenticity of an injury or sickness claim.  Our primary goal is to detect and identify false, misleading or exaggerated personal injury claims by means of a video surveillance investigation.  We also interview residents, neighbors, previous employers and carry out activity and reference checks.

We handle all types of fraud; such as: exaggerated personal injuries,  sickness, short and long-term disability, general liability, worker’s compensation and abuse.

Our surveillance equipment is the state of the art technology.  We employ the following types of equipment:

 Mobile Surveillance Video Dash Camcorders:

  • Superior Video Quality: record at full 1080p, full HD and 30fps with zoom in features and night vision.
  • Front and rear view recording, wide-angle of view;
  • WiFi Connectivity to view the clips on our iPhone wirelessly and send to our clients immediately, if time is of essence;
  • Date and time stamped;
  • Built-in GPS to view the full mapping data of the video footage, as well as speed;
  • Parking mode recording;
  • MP4 video format.

Foot surveillance Body Video Cameras:

  • Our body video cameras are equipped with full 2.7 HD Resolution and video sensors with night vision capability with date and time stamped video footage.
  • Video images capture clear shots of faces, vehicles and license plate numbers.

Wearable Hidden Button Video Cameras:

When we are conducting foot surveillance in the public domain, we use our small pin hole cameras that records high quality video images with sound activation, if necessary, and date and time stamp.

Our investigators have a combined total of more than 60 years of mobile and foot surveillance experience..  Our reports are meticulous.   We are extremely knowledgeable with respect to the provincial and federal privacy legislation, criminal code legislation, common-law and the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act. 

You may call us at (204) 233-3439 or email us at duncaninvestigations@mts.net.  Our web site address is http://www.duncaninvestigations.com.

 

 

 

 

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Insurance Fraud Investigations and the Privacy Law in Canada.

Insurers are in the business to protect the policyholder, but they must protect their interests to combat fraud in the industry.

If you are a policy holder of insurance, there is generally a clause that permits the insurance company to carry out any investigation when a claim is made on your policy.  You also agreed to fully cooperate with the insurer in the defense of a claim, including the insured’s right to investigate a claim by purchasing the insurance.

Not all insurance claims are subject to an investigation.  Only those claims that raise red flags are investigated.  In Pontillo v Zinger et al, 1010 ONSC 5337, the Judge ruled that “insurance companies do not need grounds to believe that a plaintiff is making a fraudulent claim before they conduct an investigation”.

When a claim is filed, an adjuster is generally the first point of contact with the insured.  He/she will take a written statement to obtain more detailed information about the claim and conduct the necessary preliminary investigation to protect the interests of the insurer and to ensure the claim is an insurable loss.   They will prepare the preliminary reports to the insurance company.

Private investigators are generally the next point of contact from the insurer if fraud is detected.   Surveillance is a common tool that is engaged by investigators to provide evidence to the insurer.   Investigators are governed by their respective provincial acts that give them authority to conduct investigations.   Private investigators are also governed by the federal privacy legislation.

The Personal Information Protection & Electronics Act (“PIPEDA”) is federal legislation that regulates the use of how private organizations collect, use and disclose information in the course of commercial activities.

Insurers must balance the privacy rights of the insured while protecting their own interests in handling claims.   These competing interests give rise to many privacy complaints under the (“PIPEDA”) and other torts actions.

According to the “PIPEDA”, commercial activities are defined as “…any particular transaction, act or conduct or any regular course of conduct that is of a commercial character, including the selling, bartering or leasing of donor, membership or other fundraising lists.”

In State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Privacy Commissioner of Canada and Attorney General of Canada, Justice Mainville concluded that “there is no commercial activity” associated with hiring a private investigator to collect evidence  because the activity itself  is not considered a commercial activity when the surveillance is carried out to collect evidence to build a case for court purposes.

Investigators should be mindful of ensuring that the surveillances are practical and carried out where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Insurers should also limit the information as much as possible when disclosing the particulars of the instructions to the investigator.   Insurers can disclose the location of the alleged injury by providing the investigator with a description of the claimant’s restrictions.   If the claimant is suffering from a mental health issue, it may be wise to disclose this information to the investigator, but always being conscious of limiting the information to what is reasonably necessary and pertinent to the claim.

The insurer should provide sufficient information so the investigator can positively identify with the claimant.  This may include: their name, address, description or photograph, make, model and license plate number and any other relevant information.   It is also important to provide clear and concise written instructions to the investigator and a description of the information required such, such as a report, video footage, photographs and any other relevant information.

The report prepared by the investigator should be factual, clear and concise and verifiable by providing the supporting video evidence or any other photographic evidence.    The video footage evidence should be limited to the claimant’s actions and not contain the identity of third parties.

Investigator companies should be licensed and qualified and hold general  liability insurance as well as errors and omissions insurance.

Insurance companies should establish they have used other options before resorting to a surveillance.   For example, if an insurer receives information that the insured is working while collecting benefits, it would be wise to have the investigator interview the employer first before engaging a surveillance.  If the investigator is unable to glean the information from the employer, the insurer has then established they have used alternative methods that are less intrusive before initiating a surveillance.

Surveillance can be considered intrusive on one’s privacy, even when it is carried out in the public.  Therefore, it is an important practice to balance the privacy interests of the insured while meeting the expectations of the insurer.

At Duncan Investigations Inc., we are experience in carrying out surveillance investigations for insurance matters.  Please contact us at (204) 233-3439 or toll free at 1-877-233-2002 or by email at duncaninvestigations@mts.net.   Please feel free to visit our website at http://www.duncaninvestigations.com