When an investigation is being conducted to verify the legitimacy of an insurance claim, the more intelligence you can gather the better. In our digital age, Open-source Intelligence (OSINT) has emerged as a powerful tool that insurers can leverage to gather and analyze data.

OSINT: A treasure trove of publicly available information

OSINT: A treasure trove of publicly available information

An OSINT investigation involves collecting and analyzing data from open sources. These sources encompass a wide range including the internet, social media platforms, websites, blogs, professional organizations, government databases, and court records. The accessibility of such information provides investigators with a comprehensive view of an individual's online footprint.

Providing further insight by unveiling the person's online footprint

An online footprint encompasses an individual's day-to-day engagements, functional capacity, social connections, and employment-related activities. By analyzing this data, an OSINT investigator can gain a nuanced understanding of how an individual spends their time. This insight can be invaluable for a disability insurance claim investigation when the insurer's goal is to verify the accuracy of an individual's self-reported level of function.

OSINT: a perfect complement to a surveillance investigation

Another advantage of OSINT is how it can enhance surveillance efforts. Here are a few of the ways:

Images for Identification:OSINT can uncover photos of the claimant, aiding in identification. This is especially crucial when individuals have similar-looking family members, potentially leading to misidentification.

Address/Location Insights: knowing whether the claimant owns or rents a property can influence residential entry patterns, such as having a basement or separate entrance.

Employment Details: OSINT can shed light on the claimant's employment details, including location and schedule, providing valuable information for surveillance planning.

Activity and Hobbies: the exploration of social media, online platforms and apps can reveal the claimant's activities and hobbies, aiding in the development of effective surveillance strategies.

A versatile investigative tool

The value of OSINT as an investigative tool extends beyond disability insurance claim disputes. Priority disputes, subrogation, accident benefit and bodily injury claims, property claims, and Special Investigation Unit (SIU) cases all stand to benefit from the depth and breadth of information OSINT can provide.

Here's how OSINT can specifically assist in each one of these scenarios:

1.Priority Disputes: OSINT can help identify additional insurance policies held by the involved parties, aiding in resolving priority disputes by determining which insurance policy takes precedence.

2.Subrogation:OSINT can assist in identifying responsible third parties by researching their online presence and activities, providing valuable information for subrogation claims, as well as identifying assets and income for financial recovery.

3.Accident Benefit and Bodily Injury Claims: OSINT can be used to analyze social media profiles of claimants to assess the extent of reported injuries and activities that may impact accident benefit and bodily injury claims.

4.Property Claims: OSINT can provide access to weather and environmental data, aiding in the investigation of property claims related to natural disasters or weather-related incidents.

5.Special Investigation Unit (SIU) Cases: OSINT can contribute to comprehensive background checks on individuals involved in SIU cases, helping to uncover additional information related to the claim.

The Xpera approach to OSINT investigations

At Xpera we view each OSINT investigation as unique, requiring a tailored approach to address specific case requirements. Typically, an investigation begins with comprehensive online research, before expanding to various databases related to the objective, including those available to Xpera as a licensed investigative agency.

Generally, Xpera conducts two types of OSINT investigations.

1.Background check: this involves discovering all available information on a person or business; this can involve reviewing social media, financial information, civil and criminal Highway Traffic Act matters, and/or employment.

2.Answer-seeking: the investigation is related to answering a specific question or subject matter, such as identifying material assets and employment for subrogation, insurance coverage for priority, or evidence of lifestyle from social media.

The value of augmenting investigations with OSINT

The ability of OSINT to unveil online footprints, complement surveillance efforts, and adapt to the unique demands of various investigation scenarios positions it as a valuable and indispensable tool. By leveraging OSINT, insurance companies can enhance the accuracy of their assessments, streamline investigations, and ultimately ensure the integrity of the insurance process.

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