Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Canvey couple: "Insurance company spied on my children"
A COUPLE from Canvey were snooped on by a private detective after making an insurance claim.
Tanya, 38, and Paul Joiner, 43, were filmed shopping and in their own home, while their daughters were followed going to school.
The covert surveillance began in November after Mrs Joiner claimed under a Zurich health policy when a number of health conditions, including lesions on her spine and arthritis, forced her to give up work.
On one occasion an investigator posed as a delivery man and entered her home to get a signature and check on her condition. But the parcel turned out to be nothing more than a Next catalogue wrapped up.
Mrs Joiner said: “I just cried and cried when I found out they had been in my home. If I didn’t have children it wouldn’t bother me quite as much, but I feel their privacy has been completely destroyed.
“Our whole family were just so shocked it was allowed to happen.”
Mrs Joiner, a former marketing executive, took out the £27-a-month policy with Allied Dunbar in 2001, before the company was taken over by Zurich.
It was supposed to pay out £101,000 on diagnosis of a critical illness, or if she became too ill to work, but Zurich is disputing Mrs Joiner’s claims and hired security firm G4S.
The actions of G4S are currently being investigated by civil rights charity Liberty, while Mrs Joiner’s claim is being adjudicated by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Peter Hamilton, Zurich's head of protection said: “We have a responsibility to all our customers to ensure we only pay genuine claims.
“If there is a significant reason to doubt the claim is genuine, we will, on occasions, instruct a private investigator to help us establish the legitimacy of the claim.
“In this particular case we did instruct a private investigator to undertake routine surveillance to help us identify and assess the validity of the claim.
“However, entering a private property to conduct surveillance is not permitted under any circumstances under our contract with G4S. We are reviewing our internal processes and working with G4S to ensure incidents like this are not repeated.”
Comments are closed on this article.