Should I give an insurance adjuster my social security number?
UPDATED: April 8, 2020
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You should never give an insurance adjuster your social security number -- you are not required to provide it and generally, it is not necessary for an adjuster to have it. No one, other than a taxing authority, has a right to that number since it is the "key" to your entire life, and now, the insurance company knows more about who you are, some of which could be damaging to you in any claims.
If you are in a car accident with another vehicle, you might put your social security number in a claim with the other party’s insurance company. An insurance adjuster, who works for the insurance company, will evaluate your claim to determine whether the company will pay it and the amount. The adjuster does not need your social security number to conduct this evaluation. So why do car insurance companies ask for your social security number? Some adjusters may ask for it simply to identify your file, but others may want it in order to gather information that can be used against you in deciding your claim. With your social security number, an adjuster can obtain your financial, criminal, or medical history. Since it is difficult to know for certain why the adjuster is asking for your social security number, it is best to play it safe and protect your information by respectfully declining to provide it.
However, there may be circumstances where you must give the adjuster your social security number. For instance, some states require insurance companies to search government databases to see if you owe taxes or child support before issuing a settlement check – and the insurance company would need your social security number in order to do this. While an adjuster may want your social security number for a legitimate purpose, do not give it out unless you know exactly why it is needed. Be certain that their request for your social security number is legitimate, and that it is crucial for the insurance adjuster to have it. If you have any doubts, seek the assistance of an attorney before giving it out.