ICBC uses surveillance to investigate injured claimants and ICBC injury claims. Typically, ICBC uses surveillance when the ICBC adjuster is suspicious about the true nature and extent of the injuries claimed. It is also used when ICBC questions whether injured claimants are truly unable to work due to their injuries.
When ICBC wants to conduct surveillance of an injured claimant, it will hire a private investigator. When a private investigator is hired by ICBC, ICBC will provide personal details about the injured claimant to the private investigator to identify and locate “the subject”. The private investigator will then undertake the surveillance which may include videotaping and photographing the injured claimant while following him/her throughout the day.
Video surveillance is legal in British Columbia. While it is legal, there are restrictions on the type of surveillance that can be conducted. For detailed information, please see ICBC’s private investigator policies and standards. On pages 8-9, some of the rules and restrictions on the extent of surveillance permitted include:
- a private investigator cannot enter onto private property – BUT surveillance can be conducted of you while you are outside of your house such as in the yard or on the street in front of or behind your house
- a private investigator cannot videotape you while you are inside your house – BUT surveillance can be conducted of you while you are outside your house parking your car, gardening, walking your dog or taking out the garbage
- a private investigator cannot videotape you if you are in or at places used predominantly by children such as playgrounds, school yards and daycare centres – BUT surveillance can be conducted of you traveling to and from these places
- a private investigator cannot use GPS tracking devices – BUT ICBC can provide personal details about you such as your residential address and licence plate number to locate you
In a previous blog post on ICBC surveillance, we reviewed a recent case where some of ICBC’s troubling and concerning surveillance tactics were called into question at trial.
In another previous blog post, we reviewed a recent case where ICBC was punished for failing to disclose surveillance at trial.
In a CBC article, the journalist reported on an injured claimant secretly videotaped by her insurance company and then wrongly accused of fraud. As noted in the article, surveillance is often relied on by insurance companies to intimidate injured claimants into dropping their claims or dissuading injured claimants from making claims at all. If successful, the insurance company benefits financially.