Why do insurance companies insist on a polygraph examination?


This question is often raised while handling a claim within an insurance company. It would appear that the source of the question stems from disappointment in the fact that “I am not believed” and from the feeling, described by the insured that insurance companies shirk their responsibility. In this brief article, I will attempt to put things in order and explain why, in many cases, it is worthwhile considering an insurance company's proposal of a polygraph examination positively.

An insurance company will propose that an insurant undergo a polygraph examination when the credibility of his version is questionable. In fact, in most cases a polygraph examination would be the best solution to these types of disputes between parties. The initial instinct, after the insurance company has suggested a polygraph examination, is to attribute the company with an attempt at shirking payment. However in truth, the common interest to both parties is to solve the dispute rapidly, cheaply and mainly credibly and unambiguously, thus saving a proceeding that could be long, expensive and exhausting.

Can insurance companies obligate performing a polygraph examination?

The truth is that an insurance company cannot obligate performing a polygraph examination. However, in cases in which the claimant is sure of his justification, surely he has a substantial interest to undergo the test and, if I may elucidate, even if you are uncertain of your justification, surely it would be best to end the process at this early stage rather than to undergo a lengthy and expensive proceeding with an uncertain outcome. By the way, the facts indicate that in most cases in which there is a polygraph examination following an insurance dispute, the claimant has been found to be telling the truth.

Once you have agreed to the insurance company's proposal much thought should be given to the identity of the polygraph institute. Try and ascertain who the experts at the institute are; what their qualifications are and what type of reputation they have. Proof of a polygraph expert’s good reputation is his acceptance as an expert witness in court and his membership in the Israel Polygraph Examiners Association. A polygraph examination in a reliable and well-known Institute will provide extra validity to the results of the examination.