My car was recently stolen and set on fire and now the insurance company and law enforcement are asking for my personal info.

Asked 10 months ago - Jacksonville, FL

They want access to my phone records, credit history and banking history. Is this the usual procedure in this type of incident ? What rights do I have ?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christopher Robert Dillingham II

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Yes, it is quite common. Your best bet is to hire an attorney who is familiar with both police and insurance company investigations. I handled such cases as a police officer and insurance claims adjuster, and there is a very nasty machine that suspicious claims set in motion. You could be exposed to severe civil and criminal penalties even if you are innocent.

    You certainly need not cooperate with the police. My advice is to not do so. The insurance company may deny your claim for non-cooperation if your contract allows them that right.

    The insurance company and police will also seek your cellular "ping data" to attempt to determine if you were anywhere near your car when it was stolen and later burned. In order to get that data, your cellular telephone company will have to cooperate, and that many telecoms keep that data long. The insurance company, if they suspect fraud, will almost certainly turn the results of its investigation over to the Department of Financial Services Insurance Fraud Division. In fact, they have a statutory duty to do so.

    The State can use anything you say to your insurance carrier against you. You may have already given the insurance carrier a statement about the loss, but if you haven't, you should only do so through an attorney. You should never speak to law enforcement without an attorney. I taught interrogation techniques to law enforcement officer throughout Florida when I was a police detective, and no matter how they come across, their only goal is to put you in jail.

    Finally, call an attorney with police and insurance experience today. Many attorneys do not know anything about insurance fraud or how the insurance companies and police try to prove it. You can almost certain bet that the insurance company, who does not want to pay claim, and the police, who love insurance fraud arrests, are looking at this event very closely. Please do not discuss this issue with anyone but an attorney.

    I only practice in the areas of personal injury, federal civil rights, and criminal law. I will not answer... more
  2. Stephen Andrew Mosca

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . It sounds as though they may be investigating a possible fraudulent insurance claim, which would be a criminal charge. Therefore, you have the rights anyone possibly being accused of a crime has - namely, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, for starters.

    That means you can put in your claim, answer any claim related issues, but decline to speak, or allow access to, private information that doesn't seem to be related to the claim itself. In such circumstances, the police often try to trick you into providing information, that is why it can be extremely helpful to have a lawyer. Once you have a lawyer, you will not be approached by police, and your lawyer will know what should be and shouldn't be released under your circumstances. Believe me, if they had enough to arrest and charge you, they would have. They likely need you to supply the evidence they will want to use against you, and you don't have to assist in that, and are encouraged by the constitution not to. They will say that if you have nothing to hide, then you should help clear all this up, but they likely won't tell you what it is they are trying to clear up in the first place.

    You have the right to remain silent - so speak with police carefully or consult with an attorney. Good luck.

    The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca... more
  3. Michael Paul Beltran

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . I just don't see how any category of data besides the phone records could be relevant. You should know that Florida is a two party consent state, which means that unless you consent, or the police have a warrant, nobody is allowed to record your calls. However, "Ping data" and call logs are readily available from phone companies with our without your cooperation. You should definitely have a good lawyer help you anytime you are dealing with (1) an intransigent insurance company or (2) the police. In this case a good lawyer is absolutely essential.

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