Nov 252009
 

Update on September 18, 2013:  The CBC have removed the article from their web site that I made reference to.  As a result the link is no longer click-able.

Introduction

A recent story that appeared on the CBC web site about Manulife Financial withdrawing disability benefits due to photos found on Facebook has prompted me to write this article.  The CBC story can be found at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/11/19/quebec-facebook-sick-leave-benefits.html.  Thanks to some personal experiences dealing with Manulife Financial, I have a clear idea as to how insurance companies and WCB handle disability claims.

Facts on Facebook & Photo Sharing

Even if you are always very careful with whom you accept friend requests from and what you post, always assume that anything you or anyone posts to Facebook can be seen by anyone.

Here are some basic guidelines.

  • When you create or upload photos to an album on Facebook, check the settings and who has access to the album.  Sometimes photo albums may be set to be viewable to ANYONE, whether or not they are on your friend list.
  • Facebook usually notifies you if you have been tagged in a photo that has been uploaded by someone else.  Always check any photos you have been tagged in.
  • Mouse over the Settings menu in Facebook and click on Privacy.  The Privacy page will appear with the following options.
    • Click Profile to examine and change who may see various parts of your Facebook profile.
    • Search is very powerful.  It controls what people see if they type your name into Google or other search engine or if they search for you within Facebook.
    • Facebook usually notifies you if you have been tagged in a photo that has been uploaded by someone else.  Always check any photos you have been tagged in.

Google and other search engines often cache pages that are found.  So even when things get deleted, that data or images may not be gone forever.

Facts about Manulife Financial and Disability Claims

First thing to note is that the only goal of any corporation is to make money.  Manulife Financial is no different.  The more claims they deny that are not challenged the more money they get to keep.  Whether or not Manulife Financial or any other insurance company is totally honest about what they do is another story.  It is this writers opinion that Manulife Financial is often extremely dishonest when it comes to dealing with disability claims.

Manulife Financial uses private investigators to check up on those receiving benefits and/or those who have applied for benefits.  If you ever get a telephone call from someone who claims to be with a courier, there is a good chance someone is checking up on you.  The ONLY delivery people who have ever called me to confirm when I will be home are those delivering flowers.  Last time a “courier” called and it wasn’t a flower delivery, I saw a van parked outside my home.  Sure enough, said van proceeded to follow us to an appointment.  In Red Deer, Alberta there is a private investigator for Manulife that uses a dark Ford SUV with a license plate that starts with BUJ.

As per the CBC article (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/11/19/quebec-facebook-sick-leave-benefits.html), Manulife have confirmed that they DO use Facebook to check up on those receiving or applying for benefits.

The bottom line is Manulife Financial and other insurers are often quite dishonest when it comes to honoring claims.  I know this from personal experience.  My recommendation for anyone who has a legitimate claim, who feels they are being dealt with unfairly, is to contact a lawyer who works on contingency.  We did and it made a huge difference with how our claim was handled.

  One Response to “Facebook Photo Album Security & Manulife Financial”

  1. I am a former in-house lawyer at Manulife, who now acts for people with disability claims. My website can be found at http://www.bcdisability.lawyer. You can also check out http://www.manulife-denial.ca.

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