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6 Tips for More Successful Summer Casualty Surveillance in Michigan

June 28th, 2016

6 Tips for More Successful Summer Casualty Surveillance in Michigan

Use these six tips to get the most out of summer time casualty surveillance of claimants in Michigan.

  1. Use an investigative agency that creates a plan of action before they do anything else. A Surveillance plan of action is an essential part of conducting an effective casualty surveillance.
  2. Confirm IME time and location. In the summer, physicians like to compress their schedule and will often move an IME appointment time to help get the doc out of the office and out on the golf course. Always request that the IME clinic not move the scheduled appointment, and verify it again.
  3. Watch the weather. When Michigan weather gets sketchy, people change their behavior and that can impact the surveillance. Some investigators want to work no matter what the weather conditions. Don’t use those firms.
  4. Use summer holidays to your advantage and the days before them to get more activity.
  5. Monitor the social media of immediate family members to identify potential activity like vacations, sports and entertainment attendance and gatherings. These days and the dates prior to can be great opportunities.
  6. Know about road construction in the area before undertaking surveillance. Construction avoidance can make mobile surveillance difficult.

Sherlock Investigations is a leader in casualty surveillance for the insurance industry. If you are considering surveillance in Michigan this summer, please contact one of our team to discuss how we can get plan the right surveillance for your case.

Surveillance Plan Of Action

May 10th, 2016

Does your private investigator give you an actual plan of action BEFORE they spend your money? Chances are, unless your go-to investigation agency is Sherlock Investigations, the answer is no. At Sherlock we think a little differently and a lot more frequently than most agencies. Before we commit  any of our client’s money, we develop a detailed surveillance plan of action on each surveillance assignment. We not only calculate where to be, but when to be there and which assets we need to get you meaningful, actionable video more consistently. No guess work. No lost opportunities, No fishing expeditions.

At Sherlock, surveillance is intentional.

Surveillance plan of action

To learn more about how our free, customized plans of action can enhance our claims handling and decrease the amount of time a claim is open, call Ryan Cylkowski, Dan Klimek or Brian Coykendall today.

surveillance plan of action

Is the Claimant’s Transportation Company Conducting Counter Surveillance

March 3rd, 2016

In many auto injury related casualty claims, an injured (and sometimes allegedly injured) claimant will utilize a medical transportation company to get around.  Even when they are not using a transportation company regularly, we often find the they do so specifically when attending a medical appointment, legal appointment or independent medical evaluation. What many claims examiner and defense attorneys do not consider is that the transportation drives can often get in the way. Many of these drivers only provide transportation for claimants and they know how claims work. This same group is also aware that some of their passengers are placed under surveillance by the carrier and they love this counter surveillance part of the game.

These drivers will often look for surveillance of the claimant they are transporting and will clue the claimant in on their presence. During some private investigator trade association meetings, the topic of drivers not only looking for surveillance, but of instances where they have tried to actively get a picture of the investigator or get his or her license plate are discussed.

Just as carriers monitor questionable physicians and treatment facilities, it is a great idea to keep track of instances with problem transportation service providers. This information will help your surveillance investigators to remain unnoticed and produce better surveillance results for you.

Why Most Adjusters Feel All Insurance Claims Investigators Are The Same

February 12th, 2016

The reason why most adjusters feel all insurance claims investigators are the same is because, well, they are.

Although within the PI world this is not a politically correct thing to say, the truth (albeit painful) must be told. Please understand that this is a generalization, but it holds true for most private investigative agencies. The average PI agency serving the insurance claims community is a very small business. They usually only have a handful of investigators, the majority of whom do nothing but local surveillance. They do whatever you ask. If you give them three days of authority, they do three days. They underpay their employees and often, particularly if they get busy, will subcontract someone else to do the work. They have limited resources, no intelligent processes to planning or risk management and you hope that the investigator never has to testify. In short, if you are an average adjuster, you are more likely to work with one of these types of agencies than with one who is consistently better. They almost always underwhelm, thus, the reason why most adjusters feel all insurance claims investigators are the same.

If you work in claims and are sick and tired of “the same” underwhelming work product from PIs, call Sherlock Investigations today.

Michigan Auto Insurance Fraud is a Daily Part of Life

January 13th, 2016

Michigan auto insurance fraud is a daily part of life. Many of us give little if any though to auto insurance fraud as we go about our day. If the thought comes up, it is usually when we review our auto insurance premium. Unfortunately, there is a subculture in our state of bad operators who view accidents as economic opportunities. The reaction is not “thank goodness I was not injured”, rather it is one of relief that “free mailbox money” is on the way. As one of Michigan’s premier auto insurance fraud investigation agencies, we document it every day. From the claimant who insists she cannot work and needs household replacement services who goes out dancing for three hours to the claimant who alleges to be equally as limited who posts on Facebook that they will getting “big money” from their accident.

Michigan auto insurance fraud

One of the most interesting elements of Michigan auto insurance fraud is that everyday people who normally would not think about committing fraud dive in when they are involved in an accident and coached on the possibilities of quick money without any negative consequences. A great example of the Michigan auto insurance fraud was covered in the Bridge magazine. This story gives a great example of how this “victim-less” crime is so prevalent.

Preparing for Surveillance

November 3rd, 2015

Preparing for surveillance isn’t just about making sure you have a full tank of gas and a fully charged camera.  For a field investigator, the preparation starts before the next assignment is even received.  In talking with industry veterans at Sherlock Investigations about their preparation for various field assignments, one thing is clear; they like to have lots of gear with them at all times.  Multiple changes of clothing for any event are a must, from formal attire, golf gear, bowling shoes, gym shorts, club wear along with different color shirts and hats – all to maintain the ability to not only blend in, but also continuously change their appearance during an outing.  The idea is to be prepared for wherever a claimant may go so that optimal footage can be obtained.  Surveillance vehicles are the live-in offices of these skilled investigators and they each know that the more prepared they are, the better chance they have at obtaining that case closing video.

16 Sherlock Investigations Team Members to participate in Bottomless Toy Chest Bowling Fundraiser!

October 27th, 2015

We are proud to announce that 16 Sherlock Investigations Team Members to participate in Bottomless Toy Chest Bowling Fundraiser this year. The event helps raise money for toys and activities for children who are hospitalized and receiving treatment for critical illnesses like cancer. The bowling event is open to the public and helps raise money in a friendly, family oriented environment.

We encourage anyone who is interested in helping with this great cause to consider joining us or to take a moment and make a contribution.

When: Friday, November 6th, 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM

​​Where: 5 Star Lanes, 2666 Metro Parkway, Sterling Heights. Located just east of Dequindre.

Everyone at Sherlock Investigations is grateful to have an opportunity to help those in out community who are in need. We support a number of charities both locally and abroad and encourage you to join us.

Fall Changes Approach to Michigan PIP Surveillance

October 12th, 2015

Each season seems to have its own unique attributes that call for changes in how a professional insurance defense private investigator has to approach Michigan PIP surveillance. Fall brings the end to vacations for most, the return to school (which greatly impacts those claimants with children), far less sun in the sky and new outdoor activities to replace those from summer. Attending fall sporting events is popular, leaves and gutters need to be cleaned up, many make weekend pilgrimages to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch or cider mill, patio furniture gets put away and family gatherings scale back until Thanksgiving.

These changes in the behaviors of all of us are not lost on casualty claimants who are under Michigan PIP surveillance. They too need to clean up the yard, go to fall events, take kids to school, games and the like, all in observable from public domain, and much of this must now be done in less time given the early sun set. This means that surveillance investigations too must undergo modifications. Exceptional quality insurance defense private investigators can identify and counter many of these changes through expert pre-surveillance case workups that identify the specifics of the claimant’s household, obligations and available support systems, They will know when the kids walk to school on their own, if teenagers have their own car, when and where sports we will held and more.

Halloween is also an opportunity the conduct intelligent Michigan PIP surveillance that can lead to exception footage of a claimant’s true abilities.

For more information on how Sherlock Investigations can help you to obtain consistently better Michigan PIP surveillance results, contact us today.

When a government agency decides to get in the way of your investigation

September 2nd, 2015

When a government agency decides to get in the way of your investigation. Much attention has been focused on the Rowan County, KY clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. This brings to mind an unfortunately regular occurrence that we, as licensed private investigators working on complex claims investigations and background checks, encounter with government agencies refusing to provide information or records that they are legally obligated to.

In some instances, the agency we are trying to work with is gigantic and the bureaucracy gets in the way. For instance, being located in metro-Detroit, we have had constant battles with the City of Detroit to try and get Freedom of Information Act requests answered. In instances like this, there is no one person getting in the way, and the carousel of “leaders” that we contact  appear not to care or lack the ability to respond. (Note: working with the City of Detroit is getting easier and they are much more efficient these days, the City of Chicago, not so much) This spring, our office received a response to a FOIA from Detroit 21 months after it was submitted! We also encounter the opposite where a smaller municipality elects not to cooperate for political reasons. In a case in 2014, we attempted to get records from a smaller city in Montana regarding a fire department call to a claimant’s residence. The city attorney turned out to be close friends with the plaintiff’s attorney and stoned walled us. In a separate instance, a City Attorney of another town said that if we did not disclose the nature of our investigation and who we were working for, which we cannot by law, he would never release this information and he would certainly find out through discovery if we sued for it.

For those of your who are familiar with FOIA law, you might ask, why not sue them? Well in most cases, our clients simply do not want us to take it that far. In others, the time, energy and cost to do so far outweighs the benefit the records may impart to the case. The really bad news is that these agencies and bureaucrats know this and the reality is that most of the time it works and the requester goes away. The salt in our wound is that sometimes our client does not appreciate this possibility and see the failure as bad investigators who don’t know what they are doing.

Paul Dank Earns CFE Credential

June 18th, 2015

(June 17, 2015) — The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and leading provider of anti-fraud training and education, is pleased to award Paul Dank, of Detroit, Michigan, the globally preferred Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. In order to become a CFE, Dank has met a stringent set of criteria and passed a rigorous exam
administered by the ACFE.

Paul has successfully met the ACFE’s character, experience and education requirements for the CFE credential, and has demonstrated knowledge in four areas critical to the fight against fraud: Fraudulent Financial Transactions, Fraud Prevention and Deterrence, Legal Elements of Fraud and Fraud Investigation.

Paul joins the ranks of business and government professionals worldwide who have also earned the CFE certification.