Do I have to fill up some form regarding my private info for an auto insurer to which I have filed a claim?

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Do I have to fill up some form regarding my private info for an auto insurer to which I have filed a claim?

My car was stolen about a month ago and the adjuster already called me on a recorded line to ask me questions. Now they want me to fill out some forms with my personal info, like my social security number, permission for a credit check, how much I make, etc. Is this something that I have to fill out?

Asked on November 21, 2018 under Insurance Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you want them to consider your claim and possibly pay you, yes, you have to fill out the form: if you refuse to cooperate, they will use that as legal justification to deny your claim.
The information seems intrusive but is relevant to many car theft claims: car theft claims are sometimes fraudulent, by people who need the money or can't afford the car, or both. This is especially so when the car is not recovered and the police don't find the culprit. When the police know who stole the car and he/she is not connected to the policy holder, there is little doubt but that this was "truly" a theft. But if a car disappears and there is no idea who took it, the insurer has the right to be skeptical and conduct an investigation to see if it may have been an "inside job" by an insured looking for an insurance payout. If you are in financial distress (owe more than you can afford to pay, behind on debts, earning too little for your lifestyle, etc.) that is evidence that you could be committing insurance fraud to get money or get out from under car payments. That makes the questions relevant, and to not respond to relevant questions is grounds to deny the claim.


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