Q Am I required to give my social security number to an insurance adjuster?
No. Your social security number is personal information, and you are only legally required to give it when dealing with a taxing authority.
So, what do they want my social security number for anyway?
Most people don't know that every major insurance company shares data on every personal injury claim with other insurers throughout the United States, using what is called the "Index Bureau". This simple sounding name is a massive database that is used to try and catch people in a lie when making claims. If you forget that you once had a prior claim for a small car accident, count on the insurance company to find this out and use the Index Bureau to get the details on that old claim,to deny or reduce the offer in your current case.
Though some insurance firms will simply use your SSN to pull up your file, there are others that will also use this key to your personal information to investigate previous claims and settlements. The information they find isn’t relevant to your existing case, but it can easily be used to deny or minimize any settlement you might have received on your claim.
There are some cases where an adjuster may need your SSN for legal reasons. In some states, insurance companies are required to check your SSN against government databases for outstanding family support or tax debt before releasing your settlement.
If you do give your social security number to an adjuster, it is in your best interests to first make sure that you know exactly why they want it. Do not be afraid to speak with an attorney if you have any question about the legitimacy of the request.
The Virginia truck accident lawyers at The Strong Law Firm serve victims of Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland highway accidents. If you are frustrated with denied or low-claim settlements, we may be able to help. Schedule a free case review today by calling 703-350-4241 or filling out the online contact form.
Also be sure to order a FREE copy of Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing, the must-read guide to what insurance companies don’t want you to know.