Insurance Surveillance: What Is It and What Can Injured Victims Do About It?

Surveillance by Canadian insurance companies is a controversial issue. The practice involves insurance companies using various forms of monitoring to investigate claims made by injured victims. The aim is to gather evidence that can be used to deny or reduce the compensation paid to claimants. In this blog post, we will explore what surveillance is, how it works and what injured victims can do about it.

What is surveillance?

Surveillance is the monitoring of an individual’s activities, behaviour and movements. In the context of insurance claims, surveillance often involves hiring investigators to gather evidence on the injured victim’s activities and movements, such as their physical abilities, work habits, social life and medical condition. This evidence is then used to challenge the injured victim’s claims of injury or disability.

How does surveillance work?

Surveillance can take many forms, including video and photo surveillance, audio surveillance, social media and GPS tracking. Private investigators can surveil how a claimant conducts themselves in public since there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on public property.

A claimant may be observed for many things, including the amount of time they spend away from home, driving a car, whether they have trouble moving their body or whether they lift or carry anything.

Video surveillance is the most common form used by insurance companies. Private investigators use cameras to record the injured victim’s activities and movements in public spaces, such as streets, shops and restaurants. Audio surveillance involves recording conversations between the injured victim and others. Online surveillance can involve monitoring the injured victim’s social media accounts to gather evidence on their activities and movements. GPS tracking involves investigators using GPS devices to track the injured victim’s movements.

It is legal for insurance companies in Canada to use surveillance but they must follow strict rules and regulations. For example, they must have a valid reason to conduct surveillance and they must not violate the injured victim’s privacy rights.

What can injured victims do about surveillance?

If you have been injured in an accident and have filed an insurance claim, you should be aware that your insurance company may conduct some form of surveillance on your public activity. However, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and ensure that the surveillance is conducted legally and fairly.

First, be honest and transparent with your insurance company about your injuries and limitations. Provide them with all the necessary medical documents and information to support your claim. If you are not honest with them, they may suspect that you are hiding something and may be more likely to conduct surveillance on you.

Second, be careful about what you say and do in public places. Assume that you are being watched and recorded at all times. Avoid doing anything that could be misinterpreted or used against you, such as engaging in physical activities that are beyond your abilities.

Third, be aware of your privacy rights. Insurance companies must follow strict rules and regulations when conducting surveillance. They cannot invade your privacy or violate your constitutional rights. If you feel that your privacy has been violated or that the surveillance was conducted illegally, you should consult with a lawyer.

Fourth, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure that your rights are protected. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Finally, remember that surveillance is just one tool that insurance companies use to investigate claims. It is not the only tool and it is not always effective. There are many ways to prove your injuries and limitations, such as medical records, witness statements and expert testimony. If you have a strong case, the insurance company may decide to settle rather than risk going to court.


Surveillance by Canadian insurance companies is a contentious issue that raises many questions about privacy rights, fairness and justice. While insurance companies have the right to investigate claims, they must do so legally and fairly. As an injured victim, be aware of your rights and take steps to protect them.