If you’re open to the public, you’re always vulnerable to a fraudulent slip and fall claim. These types of claims are a favorite among con artists because they’re easy to perpetrate and difficult to disprove. Circumstances like a slippery floor, or a broken sidewalk are an open invitation to a specialist in insurance fraud to make you their next target.
Your first line of defense in the war against slip and fall scam artists is a video camera. Most surveillance systems are priced so as to make them affordable to purchase and maintain. Keep in mind that the money you invest in a good surveillance system will be paid back many times over if it prevents you from becoming a victim of one of these schemes.
You should also rely on your insurance company’s claims examiner to spot signs of possible fraud and to thoroughly investigate those cases. These professionals are trained to use a number of techniques to uncover hoaxes, like reviewing video footage, examining the scene, interviewing the claimant and witnesses, and verifying that the claimant is actually being treated for the injuries claimed.
In addition to these resources, The Hartford has created a list of steps you can take to further protect your business:
- Eliminate the opportunity for fraud – Maintain facilities inside and out. Keep floors clean, dry, and clear of debris. Thoroughly clear sidewalks of snow, ice and other hazards. Repair damaged sidewalks, parking lots, and other walkways that customers use to enter and exit the facility.
- Document prevention efforts – Check public areas on a regular basis, and keep a detailed log of cleaning and maintenance activity. List each task, which employee performed it, and when it was completed.
- View and capture video footage immediately after an incident – Many systems reuse tape. These systems often run on a 24-hour loop, which means the footage will be erased if not properly secured after an incident.
- Take photos of the area, and of whatever hazard the person claimed to slip or trip on – Be discrete and considerate, but photos of the accident scene can be invaluable in managing the claim and any fraud investigation.
- Identify witnesses – Act quickly to secure names and contact information. Often, in cases of fraud, a witness might say, ‘Yes, I saw the fall and he just laid down on the ground and then called out in pain. It looked really fake to me.’
- Be thorough in collecting details – In an authentic slip and fall, the person will usually land in the substance they slipped on. Is there any sign of the substance on the person’s clothing? Is there evidence of a slip mark on the floor? Is a witness overly enthusiastic? This can be a sign of two people working together. Any unusual aspects of the incident should be noted.