1 888 989 2800

...or use our Case Request Form online

Warm Winter Weather Sometimes Complicates Michigan Surveillance with Fog

Posts Tagged ‘ michigan ’

Warm Winter Weather Sometimes Complicates Michigan Surveillance with Fog

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

The good news for Sherlock clients conducting Michigan surveillance this winter has been the unusually warm weather. A periodic complication to this unique surveillance opportunity has been some instances of dense fog. insurance surveillance in fog

Fog impacts surveillance in multiple ways and it also has an impact on how claimants, like everyone else, behave. The most obvious problem with fog is that, when present and thick enough, it prevents the investigator from capturing video of the claimants activities, even at relatively close range. Surveillance rarely turns out well when we can’t see the subject. That one is obvious. Another problem is pursuit. When a claimant leaves their residence, fog makes pursuit very difficult for the surveillance investigator. Our team will literally have to be right on top of the claimant and even then, with others driving cautiously, maintaining sight can be challenging, increases the risk of detection and raises safety concerns for all involved. (Remember, the last thing anyone wants is a potential accident involving the subject/claimant or the investigator)

Using the glass half full perspective, a lighter fog can help the investigator maintain her/his cover longer, keeps the subject focus on their driving and not someone following them and often clears out as quickly as it rolls in. One more important twist is the fact that fog can be dense in one neighborhood and almost non-existent in the next. Where this makes us crazy is in determining if we should initiate surveillance or call off the day. At Sherlock, the last thing we want to do is put anyone at risk or waste a clients money. (If you are thinking that no PI will do surveillance in the fog, think again. We have seen many competitor’s reports with days of “no activity” but the weather was foggy for hours) This takes some extra steps to verify if the fog at the target location is as bad as it is at the office or the investigators surveillance departure point. The pre-surveillance workup (plan of action) also helps us to determine if we should go. For example, someone whom our research indicates is believed to be working a weekend side job might need to be covered to take advantage of that opportunity despite the weather.

These are just some points to consider when that warm winter weather sometimes complicates Michigan surveillance.

Mild Michigan Weather Makes Winter Claims Surveillance Payoff

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

The mild Michigan weather makes winter claims surveillance payoff for many clients. As we work into mid-January, we have had an strong demand for Michigan claims surveillance at a time that would normally be much colder and potentially less productive. Although we have had several truly cold days and several days of ice or snow that cancelled school and tangled traffic, in comparison to prior years, this has overall been a very active time for claimants.

winter claims surveillance

Great weather to skate and be filmed!

So far this year our surveillance team has had numerous days activity with people outside living life almost like they would in the fall. The lack of heavy snow and ice has also created some great opportunities to get footage of people shopping, exercising, eating lunch outside and taking down holiday decorations. When we did get snow thus far, the majority of the clearing activities were done in the daytime and many of the claimants were not bundled up to the point of being unrecognizable making for some truly telling video.

If you have a Michigan claim that could benefit from claims surveillance, don’t wait, call us today and take advantage of this opportunity.

The Importance of Verifying Where a Claimant Lives Before Initiating Surveillance

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The Importance of Verifying Where a Claimant Lives Before Initiating Surveillance

In Michigan, the overwhelming majority of private investigation agencies that conduct insurance claims related surveillance have the same business model: use the lowest possible cost investigators to conduct the surveillance and use an administrative person to “set up” the cases and make the decisions on the when, where, whats of the investigation. Some advertise that they only use law enforcement personnel to conduct their surveillance, but this is almost always a part time side job for those employees, and again they are the cheapest available. This translate to no real advantage from using these people, many of who know nothing about insurance claims or surveillance without a badge and team of backup.

The one must consider who is actually planning and managing the surveillance. This is usually left to a clerical staff person who is trained to run some generic databases and instructed to schedule the maximum amount of time the client has budgeted for the case. Now comes the tricky part. If any of the information provided by the client or the private investigator’s databases proves to be false or outdated, then they rack up a $ 2,000 bill for you with no actual chance of seeing the claimant. Do you really want the person who does the invoicing, answers the phone, orders office supplies and takes out the trash designing and managing your surveillance? This is not intentional, it is simply what this model produces, and ever vanilla, cookie cutter agency works the same way.

At Sherlock, we have a different model. One that consistently produces superior surveillance results. We have full time, professional investigators in the field, who are supported by actual full time skip tracers who understand the importance of verifying where a claimant lives before initiating surveillance.

If you are not a Sherlock client, we encourage you to contact our team and learn more about how we can make you look better.

6 Tips for More Successful Summer Casualty Surveillance in Michigan

Tuesday, 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.

Michigan Auto Insurance Fraud is a Daily Part of Life

Wednesday, 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.

Michigan Summer Road Repairs Can Complicate Casualty Surveillance

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

  With the kickoff of what appears likely to be a massive statewide road repair and reconstruction effort in Michigan this summer, the business of conducting casualty surveillance becomes a little harder.

As those familiar with the casualty claims business know, surveillance in Michigan almost always involves following a claimant as they travel by car. The vast majority of people in Michigan use a private automobile as their primary means of transportation. With the voters going to polls today to decide the fate of a massive new tax to fund road repair, and the last two winters being exceptionally rough on the roads, the expected number of construction sites will be big.

For the professional insurance investigator working on a PIP or Workers Compensation claims, this adds a level of planning and flexibility to deliver consistently good pursuit in this environment. Planning the surveillance and knowing the expected construction schedules is critical. It is also important the identify how the claimant may adjust their normal routes to get around construction areas and traffic congestion.

For more information on how Sherlock Investigations plans and executes industry best casualty surveillance, please contact one of our team. We are happy to chat.



Ryan Cylkowski Joins Sherlock Investigations as Senior Account Manager in South Eastern Michigan

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

DETROIT, Michigan – March 30, 2015

Sherlock Investigations announced that Ryan Cylkowski has joined the agency and begun servicing clients in the metro-Detroit region.

Cylkowski will work with clients in the auto, liability and workers compensation claim space along with defense counsel for same. “I am thrilled Ryan has elected to join us. He gets what client service is all about and shares our approach of making them happy for the long haul as opposed to simply trying to sell them services today.” Said Paul Dank, President.

“I am truly excited to join Sherlock and to help them to build upon the many great things they have done in insurance claims investigations.” said Cylkowski. “I love working with clients to help them to improve their results and reach their goals. Sherlock actually makes the job easy with our superior investigative system and consistently better results, so this is going to be a job I can really have fun with while making my clients happy.”

Cylkowski has worked in client services within the financial services market and prior to that in healthcare. He has a solid background in client service related problem solving and customization of services to meet a large variety of differing client needs.

Sherlock Investigations provides a unique system for investigating casualty claims and is able to produce consistently better results than competing agencies, making Sherlock the head and shoulder leader within the market.

Ryan can be reached at rcylkowski@claimspi.com or 586-783-3900.


Press Contact:

R. Mills



Is Michigan Auto No Fault Law Nearing a Change

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The popular and costly Michigan Auto No-Fault law appears one step closer to undergoing some legislative changes. The Michigan GOP has released it’s Action Plan and among the items of interest to reform is the Auto No Fault law. Currently in Michigan the Auto No Fault law or PIP (personal injury protection) law affords lifetime medical coverage to victims along with some other additional coverage’s like wage loss and attendant care. Key to Republican law makers is the desire to reign in the amount of money that must be paid for services like attendant care and replacement services. More importantly is the desire to reduce the amounts that hospitals and doctors can charge auto carriers for the services they provide. It appears that these services are charged at much higher rates than are charged to medicare or traditional health insurance carriers. These high dollar expenditures are seen be some to be a driving factor in the high cost of coverage in Michigan. Michigan Auto No Fault investigations is one Sherlock’s areas of focus and expertise.

January in Michigan Brings Little Snow But Strong Surveillance Results

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Normally Michigan and metro-Detroit receive snow on 10 of the 31 days in January with averages over a foot or accumulation. In 2014 that number was much higher, and accordingly we filmed a lot of casualty claimants out shoveling snow and cleaning off cars. Occasionally we even get those dedicated homeowners who are filmed shoveling snow off of their roof, but not so far in January of 2015. This Michigan January brings little snow, but life here has also been unusually normal, meaning lots more people are going about life as usual and surveillance activity has been fairly normal and consistently productive in documenting “normal” activities. Even the cold seems to be a little less prevalent this year, with our surveillance investigators filming far more people dressed for moderate weather than those bundled up like Eskimos. The one exception is in west Michigan along the lake where, as usual, the snow accumulation has been consistent and surveillance of clean up activities very productive.

As we get ready for the annual super bowl Sunday celebration, we are on track to monitor a large number of claimants both Saturday, as they run errands and shop before the big game, and Detroit is reportedly going to receive over 6 inches of snow on Saturday night and throughout Sunday. With this new twist, we anticipate that many of our clients who long for the snow shoveling activity will see a payoff this weekend with overall strong surveillance results.

Colder Weather Not A Factor in Michigan Casualty Claims Surveillance So Far This Year

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Michigan in January can be bad. Last year alone, the cold, ice and snow was so sever that everyone suffered, the economy came off the rails and life here was anything but usual for several weeks. The good news is, thus far 2015 has little to resemble 2014. With only a few days reaching below the fifteen degree mark, life has been normal and operating as usual. Please are still shopping, going to school, attending IMEs,  recreating outdoors and very visible in public domain. In short, the casualty claims surveillance business in Michigan is red hot right now!

Here at Sherlock, we have made good use of this weather and achieved some excellent surveillance results. For some, there is the idea that January is just too cold and snowy to produce good insurance claims surveillance, but this year, that crowd is missing some great opportunities and allowing for some bad claims to move further along than they should.

If you have questions or concerns about the viability of claims surveillance at this time of year, we encourage you to call us. We can give you a detailed understanding of the opportunities and a variety of ways for you to potentially take advantage of the weather, as opposed to being a victim of it.

Sherlock Investigations: Michigan Casualty Claims Surveillance Experts