Private investigators have a cultural reputation for many things—surveillance, infidelity, undercover operations—the exciting things we’re used to seeing in movies and television. Many people are unaware that private investigators also take a huge piece of their corporate pie from insurance investigation. Private investigators use their unique skillsets and experiences to pursue the truth in insurance claims to establish their merit and prevent insurance fraud.
There are many ways to commit insurance fraud. For example,
a homeowner might remove property from their home and then report it as stolen.
They might deliberately cause damage to their property and then report a freak
occurrence, or weather, as the culprit. When a suspect claim comes across a
processor’s desk, they can hand it over to a private investigator to perform
due-diligence and vet the claim.
Private investigators can use their famed surveillance
methodology to track the homeowner to a secure location where “stolen” property
is being stored. They could use their access to verified databases to look at
an individual’s various histories, such as criminal, transience, and
litigation. All relevant information is compiled and generated in the form of a
comprehensive report in which the private investigator provides clear
recommendations regarding the validity of the claim.
Sometimes insurance companies only want the private
investigator to take pictures of an accident site, or an injury, or maybe they
just want some spot-check surveillance on an employee claiming worker’s
compensation. Another way insurance companies can rely on private investigators
is with document review. Private investigators can comb repair receipts,
financial records, police reports, and social media for evidence the claim is
Some insurance companies rely on their own internal investigators to vet and process their claims. It may be more cost-effective to keep the investigation in-house, or leadership might be more comfortable using an internal investigator. The inherent problem with any internal investigation is that any investigating agents who have a stake—direct or otherwise—in the insurance company cannot be completely objective. In an industry where litigation is not only possible, but likely, insurers and guarantors of benefits must be sure their investigations are comprehensive and will hold up to scrutiny.
A common unforeseen issue with handling insurance claim
investigations internally is that it has the potential to slow down daily
operations. Claims gather and bottle-neck at the choke point in the process,
causing employees to feel overwhelmed and increasing their margin of error,
which may result in more lost time and resources correcting those errors. One of
the greatest advantages of hiring a private investigator to vet insurance
claims is their valuable autonomy. They have their own databases, their own
league of investigators, and their own processes. The investigations process
can move quickly because there is very rarely a chain of command and little
bureaucracy involved, leading to more closed claims and greater success for the
Contracting due-diligence out to private investigators means
less stress on internal employees and another layer of credibility for the
investigation. Whether as a replacement for an internal team or on a
case-by-case basis, private investigators can give insurance providers the
valuable information and expertise they need to close cases swiftly and
With the corporate landscape being indefinitely altered by the current COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to let other priorities fall by the wayside. Internal daily operations are already disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions and limited personnel, and personnel at all levels are already experiencing heightened levels of stress and disorder. It’s not difficult to understand how a corporation’s corporate culture could decline in these stressful times. However, improving corporate culture and improving it for your employees can have beneficial ripple effects that save you money and grief in the long run.
Corporate culture is a manifestation of how daily operations, corporate policy, enforcement of that policy, and interpersonal relationships between employees affect one another and the company’s mission. Decline in corporate culture can come in many forms, including but not limited to employee theft, sexual harassment claims, executive or white-collar misconduct, or chronic turnover in personnel. All symptoms of declining corporate culture can have disastrous long-term effects on a corporation’s daily operations, hurting productivity and the bottom line. That’s why there is a key list of important items to consider when making a plan to improve your corporate culture.
Clarify your mission statement
Improving corporation culture begins with having a clear mission statement. Corporations with a clear mission statement have an increased chance of success because all personnel are aware of the company’s goals and how they are going to achieve them. Not only is the mission statement clear to the employees, but its’ also clear to the public and shareholders in the interest of boosting faith in the mission and daily operations.
Good corporate culture keeps employees happy
Improving corporate culture is one of the best ways to retain employees and increase the longevity of a good team. Corporations with poor corporate culture experience high rates of turnover. That means increased disruptions to daily operations, high costs in screening prospective replacements for the position, and further disruptions to daily operations.
Decreasing employee apathy
Good corporate culture keeps employees employed while also mitigating the symptoms of employee apathy, which can cause further losses, both financially and in personnel. Employee apathy can look like many things, including poor hygiene, patterns of absence or tardiness, excessive breaks, and lack of accountability when they do not meet expectations. This employee apathy is not always an isolated incident, and can easily spread like a disease within the workforce. Improving corporate culture means creating an environment and a system that encourages transparency, trust, respect, and dignity for one’s employees, and can decrease or erase employee apathy.
The cause and effect of improving corporate culture balances a corporation on many levels. As employee apathy goes down, employees not only become more focused, but engaged in the quality of their work in innumerable ways that benefit the company. Productivity will ultimately increase as a result, leaving leadership with more options to improve corporate culture. This cycle has the potential to repeat again and again.
Open your ears
When improving your corporate culture, it’s imperative to foster an environment of trust and open discussion when it comes to problems within the organization. Having an open and honest forum where employees feel comfortable discussing problems with proactive leadership means pervasive issues in an organization won’t be allowed to thrive and cause further ripple effects within your company. Always be open to suggestions and make employees feel like their voices are being heard.
When it comes to your business, you deserve facts—not fiction. Pervasive internal or external problems in a corporation can run an otherwise solid operation into the ground. Problems between employees, theft of trade secrets, and public relations incidents are just some of the issues that can hamper a company for decades to come. That’s why knowing what qualities to look for when hiring a corporate intelligence firm is key. Not all corporate intelligence firms are created equal and if leadership is not careful, they could just be throwing money down a hole.
When hiring a corporate intelligence firm, it’s important to remember that while the company itself should run like a well-oiled machine, it’s the quality of the investigators that are the most important. Corporate investigators are tasked with evidence gathering, interviewing witnesses, and deductive reasoning that could make or break your company. While the corporate intelligence firm may specialize in certain types of investigations, the available investigators may not have the background required to meet your needs. Corporate investigation firms typically hire someone with former investigation with law enforcement, often federal law enforcement. While there are highly qualified corporate investigators with no experience working for federal law enforcement, it is up to the client to exercise due-diligence and ask the right questions. When hiring a corporate intelligence firm, no consultant should ever be hesitant about answering questions regarding their history of civil service, or the specific qualifications of the individual investigator or team of investigators who will be addressing the company’s corporate intelligence needs.
When hiring a corporate intelligence firm, the client should never be afraid to get specific with the firm regarding questions about how they plan to meet their specific investigation needs. While many corporations experience similar disruptions to their daily operations—just like the firms themselves—not all investigation types are created equal. An internal employee theft investigation is much different from a sexual harassment investigation, and the right investigator with the right experience could be the difference between getting answers and getting jerked around. Otherwise important details might be missed and the problem continues unsolved.
Field investigations in which data is aggregated by the investigator is important, but it’s also imperative that companies hire a corporate intelligence firm that has the capabilities to gather data by means of examining and auditing company databases and searching verified background databases in order to develop leads in the investigation. These corporate intelligence firms should be literate in the IT systems your company utilizes and should be able to connect to them efficiently. This means the investigator will be able to follow any leads that develop in pursuit of answers. Most importantly, the firm should be able to use this information under the most rigid of confidentiality agreements. Otherwise, the firm could open your company up to further internal or external threats, thereby exacerbating the existing issue.
Preservation of Attorney-Client Privilege
Corporations can help improve their chances of maintaining confidentiality by having an in-house attorney to oversee the contracting of these investigators. When an investigator of any kind is contracted by in-house counsel, they can maintain confidentiality has the investigator does the fact-finding on the company’s behalf. Without these necessary steps, facts uncovered during the investigation can place the company in further jeopardy and be subject to other forms of investigation that might occur during any subsequent legal action.
If your company is in the process of hiring a corporate intelligence firm, please consider Lauth Investigations International for your corporate investigation needs. We are staffed by former military and law enforcement professionals and carry an outstanding A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. For more information on our services or to verify us, visit online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.
When employers think of corporate culture, their grasp of it may only extend to the internal operations of the business. It’s true that the factors that effect corporate culture exist primarily in the workplace itself. Corporate culture in general is the daily manifestation of how operations, policies, and enforcement of those policies effect both personnel, workflow, and the overall success of the company. Succinctly, corporate culture measures how easily employees are able to thrive in a particular work space.
There are plenty of internal issues that could cause corporate culture to decline, including unsafe practices, poorly-enforced policies, and problem employees with a repeated, pervasive pattern of misconduct in their position. One factor that most employers choose to gloss over or ignore completely is the factor of toxic clientele in the business. Many industries operate around the sacred creed of “the customer is always right.” No matter how dissatisfied or irate a customer or client becomes, it is the duty of the employee to rectify the situation in any way possible. Low to mid-level employees are often expected to take the brunt of the customer’s anger and accept responsibility for mistakes that might not be their fault. As long as the customer leaves the business appeased, the ends justify the means. However, this often has a lasting effect on employees that can affect the business in the long term.
Corporate culture moves in a cycle. As leadership with power, employers are control of how that cycle begins and ends. When employers take care of their employees—pay them a fair wage, give them a safe environment to do their jobs, and enforce policy in a way that seeks to improve the culture—employees feel valued and are more inclined to fully engage in their jobs. Full engagement from employees results in higher productivity with a higher quality of work. That benefit is then passed on to the customer or client, resulting in returns for the business. This pleases leadership, incentivizing them to further reward their employees—thus the cycle begins anew. Employers are the members of the corporation with the most power to disrupt this cycle.
In dealing with clients, the professional landscape is seeing a disappointing lack of employers willing to protect employees from abusive clients. After all, they should be courting their business, but there should be a hard line that clients can cross that give leadership the option to “fire” a client. As awareness of policy enforcement and how it effects the workplace continues to develop, more professionals are posting their experiences with toxic clients on social media. Houston Golden, one of the founders of a company known as BAMF, posted about his experience with a toxic client on his LinkedIn profile. “I fired my biggest client for calling my employee ‘retarded.’ She called me at 9:47 PM. “Houston, I don’t know if he’s under-paid, untrained, or just simply retarded. Do you have anyone that can replace him?” I was shocked…” Golden felt the client had crossed a line, and as a result, discontinued doing business with her. This is a measure that saves other employees from being exposed to deplorable behavior, and such action from an employer is a message to other employees that such behavior will not be tolerated, and the happiness of employees is more important than an abusive client.
When employees feel valued by leadership, they commit themselves to their duties in a meaningful way. The ripple effects of a workforce that feels valued will extend to the bottom line. Employees give 110% and the business sees a profitable return on their daily operations. This is what a healthy corporate culture looks like. If your corporation is having a problem with its corporate culture, call Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our corporate culture audit services. Call 317-951-1100 or find us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.
No reasonable person would disagree that law enforcement have a difficult job. In addition to often being dangerous, lack of funding often leaves many jurisdictions without the right amount of trained professionals or resources to conduct criminal investigations efficiently or successfully. Under the most forgiving of perceptions, law enforcement professionals make mistakes. Hiring another investigative professional, such as a private investigator to conduct a simultaneous investigation can be a way for victims of crimes to ensure that multiple professionals from diverse disciplines have eyes on their case. Hiring a private investigator to conduct a concurrent investigation with law enforcement can be one of the best ways to cover all of the bases in a myriad of investigation types.
It is easy for investigators and other law enforcement professionals to make human errors that can have exponential consequences for criminal justice investigations. Even in the most serious of cases such as sexual assault or homicide, important details can be missed due to bias, lack of manpower, and resources. After the initiation of a police report, victims and their families can go weeks without answers due to those aforementioned roadblocks. This is why many victims and families find it prudent to hire a private investigator to do due diligence in a simultaneous investigation with police.
One type of investigation where this practice is common is in missing person cases. Even if a person is reported as missing by a friend or family member, it might not be the top priority of investigating law enforcement. Sometimes there are violent crimes that must take precedence, or maybe the missing person is someone who the police assume has disappeared of their own volition. In the case of missing person investigations, time is of the essence, and the more time that passes without pursuit of leads, the sooner the trail goes cold. If law enforcement does not immediately follow up, vital information will be lost. That is why hiring a private investigator to conduct a simultaneous investigation is the route many families of missing persons to take. Private missing person investigators can hop on a missing person’s trail while it’s still hot—speaking to witnesses, checking security footage, and notifying proper authorities before the person makes it out of the state. Even if the missing person does cross state lines, as long as a private investigator is licensed to practice in that state, private missing person investigators are free to follow leads from state to state without restriction of jurisdiction.
Hiring a private investigator to conduct a concurrent investigation may sound redundant, but it is one of the only ways victims and their families can ensure all possible leads are being exhausted in their cases. Sometimes professional bias or ineptitude will prevent a law enforcement investigator from following a lead, convinced that their own theory of the crime is correct. Not only does this have devastating effects in the case of missing persons, but this can lead to a brick wall in investigations of all types including corporate investigations where massive financial losses may be incurred, or in domestic and private investigations where a person’s life may ultimately be at stake. Hiring a private investigator also ensures that decisions about your case can be made quickly without the binds of bureaucratic red tape. In order to follow the law, law enforcement officers typically must follow a chain of command before taking specific action. Private investigators typically work for themselves and can exercise independent judgement on when and where to make a move in a case. In this way, private investigators can exercise the autonomy necessary to ensure that time is never lost in a case.
If you have need of a private investigator to investigate a criminal matter with a concurrent investigation, reach out to Lauth Investigations International today for a free quote on our investigative services. Call 317-951-1100 or visit us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.