What is the Difference Between a Claimant and an Insured? #174

What is the Difference Between a Claimant and an Insured? I Didn’t Know at First.

What is the difference between a claimant and an insured? When I first became a private investigator working for insurance investigation company many years ago, I use to get the claimant and the insured mixed up all the time.  I didn’t know who the client was insuring because the words claimant and insured didn’t seem to be consistently used. No one took the time to explain it to me clearly.

Once I was introduced to claims investigations, it became much clearer to me who was who in an insurance claim.

So my goal is to clearly explain to you in this article who is considered a claimant and who is considered the insured from an insurance company and claims investigator point of view.

Who is the Insured in an Insurance Claim?

The insured in an insurance claim is the person the insurance company is insuring.  So if my insurance company is Geico and I am involved in a vehicle accident, to Geico I am considered the insured because they insure me.

If the other driver in the accident is insured with Esurance, Esurance considers the other driver (their driver) the insured because they insure them.  

Now when an insurance investigator is conducting surveillance on an insured, the industry norm is to refer to the subject as the claimant in the report.  I know of some companies in the past that have asked investigation companies to refer to the insured as the insured in a report but that is not the norm.  

Difference Between a Claimant and an Insured

Who is the Claimant in an Insurance Claim?

Using the same example above if I am in a vehicle accident, Geico (My insurance company) identifies the other driver as the claimant (or claimant driver).  

And likewise, the other driver’s insurance company, Esurance, identifies me as the claimant in the insurance claim.  

There can be numerous claimants in an insurance claim. In cases of vehicle accidents, it usually relates to any passengers in the vehicles (generally speaking).  

Can the Claimant be the Insured?

The word “claimant” means a person making a claim.  Both the insured and a claimant can make a claim in an insurance matter.    

I know it might seem a little confusing and I have read some articles on this topic written by lawyers that find it irritating that an insured is still identified as the insured even though the insured is making a claim, which would make the insured a claimant.

I believe that insurance companies identify the two sides like they do because it is easier to keep track of who is who (the person they represent and the person or people they do not).

And now if you are trying to find a job with an insurance investigation company for the first time, you know the difference between a claimant and an insured and will know more then I did before getting into the insurance investigation industry.

If you have any questions about this topic feel free to ask in the comment section and I will answer the question if I can.